Frequently Asked Technical Questions

I am reviewing a truss package that includes multi-ply trusses. Where do I find the requirements for the attachment of the individual trusses to each other (nails and/or bolts)? Is this a requirement that the structural engineer of record needs to supply or is it the responsibility of the truss manufacturer to design?

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

Is the truss designer or the building designer responsible for calculating snow drift loads on a roof system?

I am looking for a set of guidelines or “rules” for members of the SBCA. Are truss plants really not allowed to speak of business matters? I think that is unfair. I'm not going to call up our competitor and tell them that they aren't charging enough and taking all the business. I just want all the truss plants in my area to get together and decide how we are going to do business. We need to standardize the industry.

Here is the situation: A customer called us last month and wanted us to come measure a foundation for them so that we knew how to do the trusses. I say, that is not our job, but if we don't do it another truss company will. Then, after we measured the foundation, we compared it to the foundation plan and they matched, so the plan was given to a designer and he was told to build from the plan. After the job had been built and shipped, we were informed that our trusses were not correct. When the problem was investigated further, we found that the floor plan was drawn 1' larger than the foundation plan. How can this be our fault when we designed the trusses according to the plans? Well, the contractor says that since we measured the foundation it is our fault and we should have caught the difference and asked questions. This is ridiculous, but if we don't cooperate, we will lose the business to someone else.

The truss industry is losing a lot of money from people like this. We take responsibility even when we know it isn't our fault because we don't want our customers to go elsewhere. The truss industry should be able to meet and decide that if the contractor signs the layout saying that it is correct and then later comes back and say that it wasn't we ALL are going to say, I'm sorry but it is your fault. The contractors push everything onto the lumberyards, and then the lumberyards don't want to get stuck with it, so they push it off onto us. We don't have anybody to ditch it to, so we need to stand up when it isn't our fault and say it isn't our fault.

When you’re selling trusses through a lumberyard and the contractor calls to say that the “trusses don't fit correctly,” who has the ultimate responsibility for the trusses? I argue that the lumberyard is responsible since we have provided them with all the information on how the job was designed, even though they may or may not have passed this information on to the contractor.

Is it the responsibility of the truss manufacturer to provide a sealed layout drawing for roof trusses?

We have been specifying laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beams for some time now. The plans usually state, “Beam to be engineered and supplied by truss manufacturer.” What kind of liability issues do I need to watch out for?

What is the industry standard for ordering residential roof truss systems: Should the general contractor/builder field measure before ordering trusses or should he rely on the blueprint? Who is responsible for their accuracy – the plan service, the truss manufacturer, the builder/general contractor or the framing contractor?

My company supplied roof trusses for a hotel project. The building inspector shut the project down because the trusses were not designed to account for additional snowdrift loading. The construction plans did not contain any snowdrift loading information. The architect is claiming it is our responsibility to determine drift loading, therefore we must fix the problem. Do you have any documentation to help us dispute the architect’s claim?

Our home caught fire last month and burned partly through a tongue and groove ceiling to the trusses. Some are charred. Our contractor did a moisture meter test. An engineer for the insurance company said the trusses were only smoke damaged & the moisture meter test is invalid (it can be set to read anything). I found one article on charred trusses, but it’s pretty vague. We do not feel safe with the insurance engineer’s assessment because some of the trusses are obviously charred. We hired an engineer who agreed with us. The insurance is refusing to pay for repair/replacement of any of the trusses. Do you have any more info on this type of problem?