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Lack of Accessible Fuel Dispensers Due to Control Heights

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Americans with Disabilities Act


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Top 20 ADA Compliance Issues Seen in Truckstops and Travel Plazas. Join guest post by contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group on the second Friday of every month for his monthly column.

/// Guest post by contributor Brad GaskinsThe McIntosh Group

We continue our series on the top 20 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance issues seen in truck stops and travel plazas by discussing fuel dispensers. We’ll cover the requirements, but also the exemptions for fuel dispensers. 

At least one fuel dispenser must comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design (section 228). In order to provide equal access to individuals with disabilities at least one of each type of fuel grade sold must be available at an accessible fuel dispenser. Also, the accessible fuel dispenser should be the closest to the accessible entrance.

Unobstructed Side Reach (Illustrating Reach Ranges and Overreach)
Section 308 of the Standards lists required reach ranges. Operable parts must be a maximum of 48 inches for fuel dispensers installed on new curbs, measured from the surface of the clear floor space of the vehicular way. Please note that fuel dispensers installed on existing curbs are permitted to have operable parts with a maximum height of 54 inches. The overreach from the edge of the curb to the pump controls must be 10 inches or less.



Position of Clear Floor or Ground Space
The clear floor space in front of the fuel dispenser should be a minimum of 30 inches by 48 inches. The surface should be level with a slope not steeper than two percent.

The fuel dispenser’s display screen must be visible from a point greater than 43 inches and less than 51 inches above the center of the clear floor space. 

Section 309.4 of the Standards states that operable parts should be operable with one hand and shouldn’t require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. Fuel pump nozzles are exempt from the requirement for operable parts to have a maximum activating force of five pounds.

Fueling assistance signs are not a requirement, but are a good recommendation. I’ve included an example of a fueling assistance sign with the store phone number notifying customers to call for assistance. 

Fuel assistance sign_blur.jpg

Next month we’ll continue the series by discussing curbs ramps along accessible routes with greater than the allowable slopes.

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

Photo Credit: The McIntosh Group


Editor's note: Gaskins was a Human Library expert at The NATSO Show. The NATSO Show 2014 will be January 25-29 in Nashville, TN. Learn more about The NATSO Show 2014 here. - AT

{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.

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.

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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.


Please visit the site at