I am looking to purchase a new home and have one concern about truss construction. The prongs that come off the plates and penetrate the wood seem to only penetrate about 3/8 to 1/2 in. My question is: what keeps these plates from loosening over time and the truss from possibly falling apart from the load? Can the shaking from an earthquake cause the trusses to come apart?
Metal connector plate teeth are 5/16 in. long; that's the industry norm. They are tested extensively by each of the plate manufacturers and every plate is sized on the truss to carry more load than it will ever see in service. One square inch of plate can transfer 200 pounds of force.
There has been no evidence that truss plates loosen over time or under earthquake conditions.