Frequently Asked Technical Questions

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I almost always see wood trusses erected with no stability bracing at points of support. It seems to me that common sense and section of The American Wood Council’s National Design Specification for Wood Construction (NDS) require that lateral support be provided at points of bearing. Plywood decking doesn't provide any more restraint for a wood truss than it does for a roof joist. I doubt if it was a concern with short span trusses having 4 in.

I am installing a 40-foot scissor truss that is designed to deflect about ½ inch. I am concerned that the deflection will cause an interior partition wall to pick up some load from the truss and transfer it to the floor system. Should I double up the I-joists under this partition to pick up the extra load?

Recently, I was invited to view a newly-constructed 60 ft. by 36 ft. barn, with homemade big timber trusses as follows: 36 ft. span, 12/9 pitch, construction was 26 ft. 2x12 rafters, bracing 2x6, ceiling joists were 36 ft. boxed, 6x12 out of overlapping (6 ft.), 2x12 glued and nailed center, 16 feet of joist doubled as an 8 ft. high loft, floor trusses were on 12 ft. centers atop posts deeply anchored with good footings, roof and wall cross ties were 2x6 on edge every 24 in., floor cross ties in the loft were 2x8 on edge every 16 in., 4 ft. snow load.

I am currently working on a project where a wood truss system was loaded with a heavy spring snow. I do not believe the load was beyond the truss's design capacity, but how do you know? Is there safety built into wood trusses? If the trusses were loaded beyond their design capacity, it would not have been for a long duration.

I am a professional engineer looking for information concerning the failure of metal plate connected wood trusses and methods of repair. I am looking for this information with regard to developing recommendations for the repair of truss systems in the floor structures of two-story multi-family dwellings. I see frequent failure of truss systems of this type in both in bending and due to catastrophic failure at the gussets.

How long has the truss industry been around and where did it start?

Occasionally we deal with truss failures due to impact and or crushing forces such as trees falling onto roof structures. At what point can the truss no longer be repaired? Also, what should an adjuster look for when determining repair-ability? Or should a storm adjuster basically punt and call a consultant for every truss failure?

Are there any typical wood truss span tables for roofs and floors available? Standard framing details for use in preliminary design?

We have a customer that bought trusses in June. The trusses were shipped [ and one month later are] being set. The chords have weathered and bowed. What is the industry standard for dealing with this problem? What is our liability in this situation? We were not aware of any delays on the customer’s part and shipped as requested. Note: These trusses are 62 ft. scissor trusses.

What are the qualifications (if any) required to be considered a truss technician?

What is truss uplift?

I want to get a good definition on what causes “truss lift,” when the trusses will actually raise off the top plates of interior walls (even when nailed), causing the drywall to crack. Is it from drastically different temperatures in the attic and living area?

We are having a house built and on a recent visit we brought along a friend who builds houses for a living. He noticed that the trusses were wet and a bit moldy. The wood seemed warped, brown, and had white splotches on it. We are worried that it would later make the roof uneven. How could we tell how long the trusses have been exposed to the elements? What options do we have from here? Do we request new trusses, or can these be repaired?

I am a building designer on a salt storage building project. I would like to use metal plate connected wood trusses in the design. What should I specify for the metal connector plates?

We have been using Turb-O-Webs for about four months. We are very happy with their performance, although there have been a few ripples along the way. The main thing that concerns me at present is the need for performance documentation and testing data. Do you have anything that will help, or know of people or organizations that could offer assistance?

We have a local builder wishing to use floor trusses with a 2-hour assembly. I have shown him the 2-hour design on pages 17-27 of the second edition of SBCA’s Metal Plate Connected Wood Truss Handbook. Is this assembly UL approved? If so, what is the design number?

I stamp the bottom chord of my trusses with my company name and the name of my third-party inspector. Recently, my local building inspector requested another stamp with the on-center spacing, the total design load and the load duration factor. I have never heard of this before and I was wondering if you had any further information on this requirement.

During a home inspection, the inspector stated that the spacers were not secured at the attic trusses. What did the home inspector mean by this?

I am a building inspector and I have a question on information provided on truss design drawings. What does the uplift reaction number represent? Some manufacturers are very specific and state “to provide for mechanical connection of the truss to the top plate with a connector capable of withstanding a specific load.” Others simply list the uplift reaction with no further information. These are the ones that have caused a debate as to what the number actually represents.

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.