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Farm Shop Hydraulic Service Pit Floor

It was certain Paul and Craig Heinemans’ new shop would have a service pit, but safety was a big issue.  

“Insurance companies don’t like service pits because of related injuries. Farmers love them because then we can get underneath our machinery,” says Paul Heineman of Ogden, Iowa. 

His solution was to seal off the pit when not in use with a lift that not only makes the space safer but also adds a versatile, hardworking piece of shop equipment. 

The hydraulic lift has two special features: 

  • Easy-to-use foot controls located on both ends of the moving platform.
  • A total travel range of 8 feet (60 inches lower than the floor surface, or 36 inches higher).   

“It’s one of the handiest things in our shop,” says Heineman. 

When there is a truck to unload, they ride up to the truck bed, unload onto the platform, and bring it down to the floor. 

More on the lift:

  • At its maximum reach of 3 feet, “the platform is about the height of a pickup’s tailgate,” Paul Heineman points out. 
  • A length of 32-inch-wide tread plate is welded to two I-beams.
  • When the Heinemans poured concrete for the shop floor, a ledge for mounting lights was formed. 
  • The Heinemans did their own scissor-lift fabrication.

Paul Heineman

Operation: Joined by brother Craig; nephew Brett; and 25-year-old twin sons Andrew and Marcus, Paul Heineman grows corn and soybeans in central Iowa, near Ogden.  

Family: Wife Mari Lynn does the books and sister-in-law Martha helps with data entry. Paul and Mari Lynn have another son, Grant, 21, who is an ag engineering major. 

Adopters: The Heinemans are currently working with Premier Crop Systems doing in-field herbicide trials and fertilizer programs, varying populations, and adopting other practices. They began precision farming 20 years ago. 

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