In-Floor Scissor Lift

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In-floor scissor lift systems are an ideal choice for facilities looking to operate the maximum number of vehicles & machinery per square foot but may have a limited-service area. The lifting mechanism for the in-floor scissor lift is such that the lifting platform is flush with the ground when not in use and can be raised to the desired height when in operation. 

The installation of an in-ground scissor lift is more complex than an above-ground lift. Cutting into a concrete floor to accommodate your new equipment is critical to safe operations and should not be undertaken without obtaining the appropriate planning permits and professional supervision. Here's a guideline for in-ground scissor lift installation:

  • You will need the in-floor scissor lift measurements from the manufacturer. Handling Specialty provides detailed specifications containing all dimensions needed for the installation, and you can get further assistance from our representatives.
  • The opening must be two inches wider than the lift's length and width dimensions when cutting into the concrete. This creates sufficient room to accommodate additional parts.
  • If the installation is in freshly poured concrete, allow sufficient time for it to cure. Avoid installations before the concrete dries up. This practice prevents cracks and potential damages.
  • Handling Specialty's in-floor scissor lift solutions can also be specified into new construction projects avoiding the extra work after the fact.

The in-floor scissor lift has evolved from performing simple car service work. It has since been adapted for many different heavy-duty lifting applications across different industries like rail & transportation, aerospace, automotive assembly and power generation.

In-Floor Scissor Lift – Features

Specifying the requirements, you need from an in-floor lift is difficult if you do not precisely know the application it's to be used for and the features you need. The main factors to consider in a functional in-ground lift are: 


Safety in any in-floor scissor lift is critical to protect the operator from accidents and machinery from damage. A well designed in-ground scissor lift will have multiple in-built safety measures as standards, such as up/down travel limit sensors, warning blocks, anti-fall protection, and automatic safety release locks. Additionally, mechanical locks can be used to ensure the scissor lift is secure at any elevation.


Keeping the load stable when elevated is important in the design of a scissor lift. When selecting an in-floor scissor lift, ensure it is designed with a heavy-duty base frame made of steel to reduce structural stress when extended to its maximum height. Additional stability can be created by using cushioned rubber blocks to safely secure the vehicle or plant equipment on the lift platform.

Open-Center Design

Accessibility is a key consideration when selecting an in-ground scissor lift to ensure adequate room for personnel to work on the elevated load and perform the required tasks.

Lifting Capacity

Having a clear understanding of the type of loads to be lifted by the in-floor scissor lift will determine the specification for lifting capacity. A medium in-floor scissor lift can accommodate loads of between 7,000 – 15,000 lbs. These are designed to handle vehicles like cars, trucks, and commercial-grade vehicles.  Customized in-ground scissor lifts can be designed to accommodate loads of over 50,000 lbs, depending on the application.

Power Mechanism

In-floor scissor lifts work with hydraulic cylinders with flow restrictors to evenly push the columns from the base to ensure a level lift of the load. The lifting mechanism can handle the failure of one hydraulic cylinder due to low hydraulic pressure. This ensures that the elevated load is still kept parallel to the floor to prevent it from tipping.Raising and lowering the lift is performed using the switches on the control box. The control box contains all power systems for the safe operation of the in-floor scissor lift.

Quality Certification

Certification is an essential feature while shopping for an in-floor scissor lift. It shows the company has done due diligence to manufacture equipment that meets required standards. Certification also provides a basis for holding manufacturers accountable in case of failure or damage.

In-Floor Scissor Lift – Models

Below are some examples of the custom-engineered in-floor scissor lifts for sale by Handling Specialty.

l    Multi Stage Scissor Lift for Turbine Assembly

Turbine assembly requires an in-ground scissor lift that handles more than 100,000 lbs during all stages of the assembly process. This lift is mounted in a pit and rises approximately 35 feet, safely holding personnel and equipment as the turbine assembly is completed.

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l  Pit Mounted Custom Scissor Lift

Designed for the Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony, this triple stage, a custom scissor lift, was designed to emerge from a retractable hatch in the stadium floor and can elevate 2,500 lb loads to a height of 144 inches with a rise time of 18 seconds. Handling Specialty engineers developed the triple-stage scissor lift so that it could achieve impressive speed and motion control.  The lift was considered key to both the opening and closing ceremonies.


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l  Rail-guided hydraulic scissor lift for the transportation industry:

This 11,700 capacity model uses a battery-powered system to remove and replace bogies from under-raised rail vehicles.

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l  Theatrical Stage Lifts & Underwater Lifts

Underwater lifts allow cruise ship enthusiasts to enjoy aqua theatre activities while onboard the ship. Underwater lifts can hold a capacity of 90,000 lbs, with a 176 ft vertical travel and accommodate an average of 10 kPa horizontal "sloshing load." This type of scissor lift is popular within the entertainment industry because they allow for flexible movement without compromising entertainment quality.

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Why Choose Handling?

Our custom engineered in-ground lifts have greatly improved safety and working conditions in various industries. Personnel do not have to move heavy equipment manually and can work safely, often at ground level. We recommend in-floor scissor lifts for any complex heavy lifting operations where working at height could be hazardous. They are proven to help avoid accidents and fatal injuries associated with working on elevated loads. At Handling Specialty, we design every scissor lift with built-in safety mechanisms that contribute to operator safety.

Contact us to discuss your in-ground scissor lift applications and requirements.