There are three types of hydraulic drives, those are : hydrostatic drives, hydrodynamic drives and hydroviscous drives.
A hydrostatic drive consists of a hydraulic pump and a hydraulic motor. Since positive displacement pumps and motors are used, one revolution of the pump or motor corresponds to a set volume of fluid flow that is determined by the displacement regardless of speed or torque. Speed is regulated by regulating the fluid flow with a valve or by changing the displacement of the pump or motor. Many different design variations have been used. A swash plate drive employs an axial piston pump and/or motor in which the swash plate angle can be changed to adjust the displacement and thus adjust the speed.
Hydrodynamic drives or fluid couplings use oil to transmit torque between an impeller on the constant-speed input shaft and a rotor on the adjustable-speed output shaft. The torque converter in the automatic transmission of a car is a hydrodynamic drive.
A hydroviscous drive consists of one or more discs or connected to the input shaft pressed against a similar disc or discs connected to the output shaft. Torque is transmitted from the input shaft to the output shaft through an oil film between the discs. The transmitted torque is proportional to the pressure exerted by a hydraulic cylinder that presses the discs together.