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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - SmallEngines.ca FAQ's
What is the difference between the Hydrostatic and Transmatic systems?
A Hydrostatic transmission is a transmission that is filled to most of its capacity with Oil. For current models, a 10W-40 oil is being used, but can be serviced with 20W-50. This unit is controlled by some sort of lever that manipulates hydraulic pumps within the transmission. The further in either direction the lever is moved, the harder the pumps operate. These pumps then control the speed at which the drive wheels rotate.
Transmatic drives are similar to a manual shift automobile. To drive, you have to put the unit into gear and release the clutch. It is not necessary to accelerate through gears like a manual car, simply select any gear and operate at that speed. These units use a combination of belts and tensioners to operate the drive system.