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Accessible Parking Spaces for Class 8 Trucks

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Americans with Disabilities Act


Join guest post contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group for a new installment in his semi-monthly columnTop 20 ADA Compliance Issues Seen in Truckstops and Travel Plazas.

/// Guest post by contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group

Regulations for accessible parking spots are an important part of the ADA Standards, especially for truckstop and convenience store owners. Because it is easy to identify a noncompliant parking lot, parking has become the number one issue for ADA lawsuits across the country. Facility owners are becoming more knowledgeable in just what kind of accessible parking is required – but many are unfamiliar with more specific rules in the ADA, such as those for accessible parking spots for Class 8 trucks.

While traditional accessible parking spots are an understood requirement, the ADA does not specify whether there must be an accessible spot available for Class 8 trucks, although many drivers do have disabilities and would benefit from having an accessible space. A standard accessible parking space is required to be 96” wide, and a van accessible parking space is required to be 132” wide. How wide would the space have to be for a truck?  It’s one of those areas of the standards that isn’t really defined.

Because many truckstops do not have an accessible truck space, many drivers with disabilities are parking in the passenger loading zones and access aisles.  While not ideal, this is an acceptable way to approach the problem.

See the exception in the 2010 ADA Standards:

“208.1 EXCEPTION: Parking spaces used exclusively for buses, trucks, other delivery vehicles, law >enforcement vehicles, or vehicular impound shall not be required to comply with 208 provided that lots accessed by the public are provided with a passenger loading zone complying with 503.”

A passenger loading zone, as outlined in section 503 of the ADA Standards, states that there must be a vehicle pull-up space 96 inches wide minimum and 20 feet long minimum with an access aisle adjacent to it. The access aisle should join to an accessible route, as well as “…extend the full length of the vehicle pull-up spaces they serve.” There should be no change in slope.




To better serve patrons, we would encourage having accessible truck parking available. So far, not many convenience stores or truckstops are doing this, although a few popular stores do. At the very least, make sure that the passenger loading zones and access aisles are up to standard. 


/// Read more Top 20 ADA Compliance Issues Seen in Truckstops and Travel Plazas posts here

Photo Credit: The McIntosh Group

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Allied member Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group. The McIntosh Group is an architecture firm focused on providing accessibility solutions for clients nationwide. Learn more about The McIntosh Group.

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About the Author

Brad Gaskins, AIA, CASp

Brad Gaskins, AIA, CASp

Brad has more than 25 years experience in the practice of architecture and a comprehensive understanding of professional practice nationwide. Brad brings a unique and valuable perspective to The McIntosh Group’s practice and clients, with a specific expertise in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and national building codes.  Brad has gained recognition as an expert witness for clients with ADA compliance complaints. He represents NACS, The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, as a full voting member on the International Code Council (ICC), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1, Consensus Committee on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities. His objective is to share, with the committee for their deliberations, the potential impact of the standards on the convenience store and truckstop industry. Brad has an undergraduate degree in engineering and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently serving as president of AIA Oklahoma. 

Got questions about ADA guidelines? Let Brad help, he’s the ADA Geek.


The “Ask Brad” website educates visitors on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The site offers the knowledge of an architect, Brad, who has a specific expertise in ADA compliance. Visitors to the site are encouraged to submit questions regarding the ADA. Brad will answer the questions and post them to the site for all to take advantage. In addition to the Q&A section, the site offers timely information through instructional videos, white papers, articles and resource links.


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