What You Need to Know About Hydrostatic Drives

Why does Billy Goat use hydrostatic drives in most of their self-propelled equipment? Do you need to do anything to maintain your transmission? Here’s everything you need to know about these drive systems.

How Do Hydrostatic Drive Systems Work?

The drive system has a pump and a motor. All Billy Goat products use drive systems that combine these parts into one case, which is called a “closed coupled” system. This eliminates the need for hydraulic hoses, which are the most common point of failure on these drive systems. Walk-behind equipment uses a single transaxle, while Hurricane stander blowers use a pair of hydraulic motor assemblies.

The motor has a set of pistons attached to an angled wash plate. Hydraulic pressure pushes the pistons, turning the plate and spinning the motor. Increasing the angle of the plate also increases the distance the pistons move, so they turn slower. Reverse the angle of the plate, and the fluid moves the pistons and plate in the opposite direction. This is what controls the speed and direction of the motor. The pump uses the same components, but the wash plate is fixed in place, generating steady fluid pressure for the motor.

Why Do So Many Pieces of Lawn Care Equipment Use Hydrostatic Transmissions?

Since the hydrostatic motor speed is controlled by the wash plate angle, the engine can run at the same speed while the equipment changes speed and direction. This lets the engine drive tools at their ideal speed. Wash plates are infinitely adjustable, so the operator can precisely control movement speed.

The motors in Hurricane blowers act independently. Changing the speed and direction of each motor allows the blower to turn. If one drive wheel spins forward and the other in reverse, the blower spins in place, giving it a zero turning radius. This level of control allows precision maneuvers that are impossible with a steering rack and a regular drive system.

How Do I Maintain My Billy Goat’s Hydrostatic Drive?

Tuff Torq transaxles should be maintenance free for the life of your equipment. However, the pump assembly does get hot with use. If the transaxle is caked in dirt and mud, it can overheat, burning the fluid. Make cleaning your transaxle part of regular maintenance. If you need to replace the fluid, because of a leaking seal, use Tuff Torq’s own hydraulic fluid. This fluid has additives designed for a long service life. In a pinch, you can use 10W30 diesel engine oil.

The Hydro-Gear transaxles on Hurricane blowers have oil tanks that need to be topped up periodically. Both the filter and oil should be changed after the first 75 hours of use, and then every 400 hours. Hydro-Gear recommends using 15W-50 synthetic motor oil.

Where Do I Get Parts for My Billy Goat Equipment?

Go to www.billygoatparts.com. Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat. We carry everything you need for your equipment, including engine and transaxle parts. We have sections of commonly ordered parts, like blades, impellers, and air filters. You can also use our search engine to find parts specific to your model and serial number. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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