Once you see the complete picture, it makes a lot more sense.
Roll up to any gas pump and you expect the same user experience, a payment system to handle cards, an LED display to see how much money and gas you’re pumping, buttons to select grades and, most importantly, a hose with nozzle.
This particular gas pump is confusing many people on social media. A photo shared on the Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular signage Facebook group shows one side of the gas pump 50 percent complete.
There are placeholders for all the screens, buttons and two hoses, but this side of the gas pump is clearly not in service as there are no actual buttons, hoses to use, or screens to look at.
Here’s the gas pump in question below.
The original poster clued us in on the play-on-perspective and dropped an address.
You can find this pump at the Shell Gas Station at 11151 Long Beach Blvd. in Lynwood, California.
Zoom out and here’s the blank pump in question. It’s one of two one-sided pumps placed in front of the station’s mini-mart.
Here’s the pump in 2012.
Since mapping out pump placement to maximize traffic is largely dictated when the station was built, whatever pumps the owner buys for future upgrades at this particular spot, have to be single-sided.
Facebook Group member Alex Lacey hit the nail on the head commenting,
It’s cheaper for the manufacturer to make the plastic front and just not cut out the holes for the screens and keypads and such. These are pretty rare and probably not cost-effective if they aren’t satellite pumps like truck stops use, though.
Zoom in on the photo and you can even see the manufacturer, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a manufacturer of fuel management systems for consumers and businesses.
Whoever buys gas pumps can either select the more common two-sided pumps or, like this station, can option for a single-sided pump.
As Lacey mentions, rather than re-engineer a special one-sided model, it’s more cost effective for Gilbarco Veeder-Root to send out a double-sided pump with one side not complete.
One-sided pumps with blank placeholders are not super uncommon. Your city’s gas station probably has one or two of these one-siders with interfaces by Gilbarco.
Check out this 76 one-sider from Reddit.
Now that you know the why and how, you’ll probably never see one-sided pumps the same again.
Have any interesting gas pump-design anomalies I should know about? Let me know where and what’s up in the comments below!