Quality Control

Lumber Design Values

No matter the species, component manufacturers (CMs) purchase and rely on the accuracy and reliability of many different lumber design properties, including: bending (Fb); shear parallel to grain (Fv), compression perpendicular to grain (Fc^), compression parallel to grain (Fc), tension parallel to grain (Ft), and modulus of elasticity (E and Emin).

I am a structural engineer on a project with a wood trussed roof. I have noticed some variations in the peak height in a run of identical trusses. Do you have any information on tolerances for the final dimensions of manufactured trusses?

As the owner for a building designed to have metal plate wood trusses, what documentation should I receive to be assured that the manufactured wood trusses delivered to the site have indeed been manufactured at a licensed and registered wood truss manufacturer under the required written quality control procedures?

When webs are cut is it alright that sometimes the grade mark is removed? From a liability standpoint, what is the rule with grade marks and web members?

My framers are always complaining that the “trusses are bad.” I am looking for tolerance information that not only addresses the allowable variance in length and height, but also allowable variation in the top chord with regard to straightness (i.e. how straight should a pull string line from the top and bottom of top chord be?). Also, if trusses are set on a perfectly level wall, what variation is allowed from truss to truss (i.e. if I put a 10 ft. straight edge perpendicular to the trusses, how much can they vary in height, not just at peak or bottom but all along the top chord)?

The grading rules usually permit some percentage of visually graded lumber to be below grade – I believe it is 5%. ANSI/TPI 1 requires that all lumber used in trusses be of the grade specified by the truss design. A strict interpretation of ANSI/TPI 1 would require that the fabricator cull the 5% that is off grade. What are your thoughts on this?

If you have the condition where you are out by the max tolerances of 1/2 in., how do you correct the situation? Do you shim the truss from the bottom? Shim from the top? I will assume you do not shave the truss off. What is the published corrective action for situations that cannot handle the variation in truss height?

If the truss design drawing specifies using 2x4 1650F SPF, can 2x4 No. 2 southern pine be used instead? What are some things that need to be checked?

IBC 2012/2015 2303.4.6 and IBC 2012/2015 2303.4.7 state: 
2303.4.6 TPI 1 specifications. In addition to Sections 2303.4.1 through 2303.4.5, the design, manufacture and quality assurance of metal-plate-connected wood trusses shall be in accordance with TPI 1. Job-site inspections shall be in compliance with Section 110.4, as applicable.

Can designing with lateral resistance in mind improve production QC?