Truckstop ADA Case Study

Dispelling myths about the American Disabilities Act is a top priority for Bradley Gaskins, chief operating officer of The McIntosh Group. Gaskins is an architect and an ADA expert. He has experience with over 2,500 projects in 23 years and his clients include some of the largest c-store and restaurant chains in the county. Gaskins is bringing his expertise to the Human Library at The NATSO Show in February where operators will be able to sit down face-to-face with him to ask questions specific to their locations. Gaskins provided a sneak preview of a Human Library session when he talked with Chris Smith of Eco Travel Plaza in Crossville Tenn. Their conversation provides an inside look at what Human Library participants can expect in February.

Q (Smith): Have there been any recent rulings on operator height for coffee pots?
A (Gaskins): The reach range on the self-service areas have a 48-inch maximum to the highest part. Prior to 2010 it was 54 inches. You don’t have to lower it to 48 until such time as you touch it or change it, then you have to lower it. So, you could remain complaint to the 1991 standard and not have to comply with the 2010 standards yet.

That only applies to self-serve items that are not pre-packaged. Pre-packaged items are exempt from the reach range. Coolers and freezers are generally always prepackaged, so you’re allowed to require them to ask for assistance. An ask-for-assistance label is not required, but it is not a bad idea to do that. I’d put one label on my front door, so it notifies anyone who comes in to ask for help if they need it.

Q: How many parking spaces are required in front of the facilities?
A: You need to have one handicap space for every 25 parking spaces. If you have 25 spaces or less it is going to be one handicap space. If you have 26 spaces, you need two; 50 spaces is three. Plus, one of every six spaces has to be a van accessible space. You have to have signage, but you do not have to have the painting on the ground. The signs need to be 60 inches high.

Q: Does the van space have to say van accessible?
A: If all of your spaces are not van accessible, then yes. Parking spaces can share an access aisle, which is van accessible.

Q: Are truck parking spaces counted in that overall count of parking spaces?
A: No. You only need to count the automobile parking spacing. There are no ADA regulations for trucks.

If you’d like to speak with Gaskins at The NATSO Show, book an appointment at the Human Library by contacting Kimberly Roberts at (703) 739-8573 or Operators who plan to speak with Gaskins at The NATSO Show are welcome to bring photos or sketches of their locations to better explain their questions.

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