There are two types of independent PTOs: Mechanical and Hydraulic.
A mechanical-independent PTO uses a separate on-off selector, in addition to the PTO control lever, to control the PTO shaft.
A hydraulic-independent PTO uses a hydraulic clutch to engage the PTO.
The main difference between the two is the method of engagement. A mechanical PTO uses a mechanical lever or switch to engage the PTO, while a hydraulic PTO uses a hydraulic clutch to engage the PTO.
Hydraulic PTOs are generally considered to be smoother and easier to engage than mechanical PTOs.
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