A hydrostatic drive works by either mounting the standard hydraulic system hardware onto a reservoir with an attached hydraulic motor or by bolting a housed hydraulic pump and motor to a mechanical axle. These different types of hydrostatic drives are installed in vehicles depending on the specific speed and industrial needs of the vehicle. They can be found in a variety of different industrial equipment.
Hydrostatic drives are often used in power transmission systems where different levels of output speed are required. However, hydrostatic drives are usually not the most cost-effective ways of dealing with these different power transmission needs. Hydrostatic drives do not have fluctuating power levels. Instead, their power curves are continuous and can increase torque without the need for a gear change.
There are two primary types of hydrostatic drives: split and close coupled. Split hydraulic drives have a standard hydraulic system set-up mounted onto a reservoir, including the pump, heat exchanged, filter and valves. This is connected to the hydraulic motor with a hose. These types of installations are usually used in heavy-duty industrial applications. Close coupled hydrostatic drives also have a hydraulic pump and motor, but these are connected to a valve surface. This is housed in a casing and then bolted to an axle. These lighter hydrostatic drives are used in vehicles such as farming tractors.