I always thought a Zamboni was a stick shift. Am I wrong? If it is a stick, you may need to practice on a car first, just to get your feet wet.
Initial Zamboni models had a manual transmission, according to one web source.
But the current Zamboni models use a hydrostatic transmission, which is like having a continuously variable gear ratio - something you won't find in any common car.
Operating instructions can be found in a web search for
"Zamboni operating manual"
which BTW is distinct from the
"Zamboni maintenance manual"
I'm not sure you can legally download Zamboni's manuals in the U.S.
In this video
, it doesn't look like there is a manual clutch, but we can't quite see what the feet are doing. The continuous speed shift lever clearly works nothing like a manual transmission lever.
Learning to drive a stick shift is fun, and stick shift cars give you a feeling of a lot more control, especially on slippery ice, but I'm guessing it won't help much with modern Zamboni models.
There is another common brand of ice resurfacer - Olympia. E.g., one of their user manuals is here
- it mentions an automatic transmission.