Consider for a moment the basics of manufacturing a truss. Based on SBCA’s 2012 Financial Performance Survey, lumber accounts for roughly 40 percent of the total cost. Plates account for about eight percent of the total cost. Design and production labor account for 30 percent, and delivery, sales and overhead account for the remaining 22 percent (these are rough industry averages). All other things being equal, if you could decrease your lumber costs by a few percentage points while raising your plate costs a small amount, would you take the trade-off?