How To Tell If A Mower Is Hydrostatic or Not?

If you are looking a mower for your lawn with sharp turns, the hydrostatic mower will be an ideal choice. But how will you choose the right one? How to tell if a mower is hydrostatic?

If the mower doesn’t have a consistent speed, gear box, and no clutch to depress, then it is hydrostatic. This type of mower will have an infinitely variable speed to adjust the forward speed from 0 to full using the single control lever.

Let’s dive deep to know the attributes, benefits, and more about the hydrostatic mowers.

How Does Hydrostatic Mower Work?

The hydrostatic transmission has the most high-powered transmission. The driver does not need to use the pedal to shift. 

There is no belt as well. The fluid causes shifting power from the engine to the wheels. 

So, the mower ensures power transmission to remote areas, self-overload protection, infinitely variable speed control, reverse rotation capability, high power to weight ratio, and dynamic braking. 

The reversible closed-loop system in the mower allows the mower to move both backward and forward.

This transmission offers a smooth ride and a lengthier transmission duration. It is most commonly controlled by one or two-foot pedals or by hand levers.

However, these mowers need more fuel as they are less efficient. But this transmission also comes with optional cruise control to allow the driver to travel at one speed for long stretches.

The hydrostatic mower will have a wide range of speeds. The transmission combines a hydraulic pump with a hydraulic motor to power the machine. 

There are differences among the three transmissions. 

The automatic transmission mower requires no gear shifting. And for manual transmission, you have to do gear shifting by yourself. 

So, the latter one is not recommended for the lawns with sharp turns. However, the manual one is a cheap option for wide lawns. 

When you are trying to push the hydrostatic mower, it won’t work without disengaging the transmission. 

As fluid is pumped to the wheels to turn them, the wheels won’t turn as the motor is off and the pump is too. 

If your lawn has steep slopes, you can go for hydrostatic mowers as they have greater torque than other types.

Are Hydrostatic Mowers Good?

You get benefits from the hydrostatic transmission such as horsepower and pressure limiting, anti-stall, inching, torque, and neutral start, allowing for maximum design flexibility, safety, and precise machine control. 

It also offers high power in a compact size, maintains speed more accurately, and delivers a wider range of speeds that can be easily controlled. 

This is suitable for tight spaces and works equally well under wet or dry conditions.

You Have To Keep In Mind About The Hydrostatic Mowers

  • The mowers have to be driven with extreme care when it comes to acceleration and gears. 
  • According to Fluid Power Journal, the efficiency of this mower is 20 percent lower than sliding gear transmission mowers. 
  • The pump and motor units of hydrostatic transmissions are also prone to frequent damage.
  • HST vehicles require frequent oil changes, which increase the cost.

So, How To Know If Your Mower Is Hydrostatic Or Not?

hydrostatic transmission works like an automatic transmission but uses fluid rather than belts to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. It has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) system

After ensuring all the features stated above, you can identify the gear by the label attached to the product depicting the model and serial number.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs):

How hydrostatic mower works?

The mower is powered by a standard engine. The pump uses pressurized oil to move pistons in the hydrostatic drive system. Then, the pistons’ movement transfers power to the hydrostatic motor and engage the drive wheels on the mower. 

What will happen when you push a hydrostatic mower when it is off?

If you push the hydrostatic mower when it’s off, the fluid already at the wheels will flow back into the pump and damage it.

Should you consider a hydrostatic mower if you have a large yard with several flower beds and trees to dodge?

Yes, the hydrostatic mowers offer the best acceleration and maneuverability, turn around better, and change gears faster and smoother. 

Which oil is recommended for a hydrostatic mower? 

You should always check your manual. However, most experts recommend that you should go for 20W50 motor oil instead of hydraulic oil. Then, the oil should be changed within the first 50 hours of usage and then every 250 hours or once a year.


Now you know how to tell if a mower is hydrostatic.

When you figure out the transmission you want, you can fix the layout of your lawn, the frequency, and the proficiency of the wheel. 

If you want to prioritize superior performance ignoring the high cost and maintenance, this hydrostatic mower is for you. 

Besides, if you want a compact mower with easy to operate feature and quick to stop in an emergency, this hydrostatic mower is for you. This also applies torque smoothly.

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