What Is a Hydrostatic Transmission and Why Is One Perfect for Your Next Mower?

People these days have plenty of options when it comes to ride-on mowers. There are zero-turn mowers, electric mowers, four-wheel mowers, and so on. In addition to these different power and body configurations, you will also enjoy the freedom to choose the type of transmission system that would best suit your needs.

This used to mean being able to choose between automatic and manual, just as you would while buying a car. However, things have changed a little, with many mowers now offering hydrostatic transmissions.

What Is a Hydrostatic Transmission?

If you're at all familiar with traditional transmission systems, you'll understand that a pre-set number of gears are used to regulate power; for example, a 6-speed manual transmission offers 6 separate gear ratios.

In contrast, a hydrostatic transmission uses a special pump filled with pressurized oil in order to move the pistons of its drive system. The movement of those pistons transfers power to the motors, which then engage the wheels of your mower.

This is all well and good, but what advantages does such a system hold over a traditional manual or automatic transmission?

What Are the Advantages of This System?

Easier to Use

Firstly, a mower with a hydrostatic transmission system is generally a lot easier to use than one with a traditional system. Because hydrostatic transmissions lack a belt and a pre-set number of gears, there is no need to use a pedal to make shifts. This makes it simpler to execute turns and tackle lawns that require lots of edgework, since you don't need to constantly keep manipulating the pedal.

Superior Manoeuvrability

Hydrostatic transmission systems boast stronger response times than transmission systems that use gears, meaning that you can very easily change speed and direction without pausing your ride. As a result, you'll be able to cover lawns with lots of obstructions without having to worry about how you will get around them.

Greater Power and Acceleration

Mowers with a hydrostatic transmission system are clearly the superior choice if you're dealing with a lawn that requires maximum manoeuvrability, but they are also fantastic if you have to deal with larger and simpler stretches of grass, such as sporting fields. They are generally a lot faster and will get up to speed without much delay, so larger areas can be covered rapidly.

Smoother Ride

Finally, a hydrostatic transmission doesn't make shifts in the same abrupt manner as a manual or transmission system. As anyone who has ever driven a car or mower with such a transmission understands, there will be a small drop in power when those shifts occur. Since shifts will be far more fluid with a hydrostatic transmission, you should enjoy a far smoother ride.