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Truss Bracing - How to Convince Builder

BossHog's picture

I'm currently bidding trusses on a large church job. It's a rather large building, with a ton of 60' piggyback trusses on it.

Unfortunately I've been involved in a few cases of buildings like this where a large series of trusses were not braced well when they were set, and they eventually fell over. So when I see jobs like this one I'm always a little leery.

I'm not really worried about liability. We notify builders that they need to brace the trusses adequately and send out bracing instructions with the trusses. I just don't want to see anyone get hurt.

So what I'm wondering about is : How do you convince GCs to take bracing seriously?

It seems like when I talk to guys about bracing they get defensive. I get stuff like: "We've set trusses before - We know what we're doing". It's like I'm insulting them, or like they think that I'm calling them stupid.

I want them to take the bracing seriously in order to protect their guys and save them TONS of wasted time and money. But I'm not sure how to get it across to them.

Any thoughts would be appreciated...

Why do they call it "Oriental Strand Board"???

(post #84875, reply #27 of 43)

There's lots of news articles and warning sheets


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=TRUSSES+COLLAPSED&aq=f&oq=


 

(post #84875, reply #28 of 43)

Boss along with your Truss Bracing detail and instructions you could include a Truss Bracing Package made up of all the 2bies needed for bracing and painted SAFETY ORANGE and stenciled TRUSS BRACES (at extra costs of course) included in bid. Also include a copy of bracing instruction for each of the crew and a master sheet to be signed and returned to the driver.
Let the BI know what you have done so he can give a quick check. If he drives by and doesn't see those orange 2by4s Problems for somebody.
187,000 hits on Trusses in Google!!!!!

(post #84875, reply #30 of 43)

I have slung a few trusses and at first the old german bugger was brace and brace the first. and ran bracing as he went. 40 years later I was helping his son frame a 40X24 wide eves. the 10 foot walls were pre fabed.
He hired a pro-framer to do the roof. This guy was a monkey with a nail gun! Any way as I handed him the 2 and 1 bys up to him marked to 2 foot centers and fed the braces thru the right space he looked at me and said what crew to you work for I said no one just nice to see some one who knows the drill! Once the first 3 were in lock down we went like hell and got to watch the football game at 3:30.
A friend GC was doing a motel 6 years ago set trusses, lightning and rain made them run, big storm/massive winds+massive collapse OHS inspection, no bracing + no insurance + lost bond = royally screwed. No injuries thanks JFLucky!
So don't matter if it's the Knight of Columbus (my dad was a 4th degree) #### happens, cover your ####. make the framing leader sign a seperate contract need be.
Working for your self is good but risk management is also a good way to sleep well.
In Saskatoon SK yesterday a guy took off his fall harness and then fell 6 floors from a scaffold, dead and the guy he landed on is now upgraded to stable.
" Some times Gravity is your friend, some times not"

(post #84875, reply #31 of 43)

I could be wrong, but I don't think the building inspector can say anything if you elect to forgo temporary bracing. Permanent bracing, as specified in the stamped drawings, should be inspected at rough in inspection. But erection bracing is different, I think.

 


Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

 

Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

(post #84875, reply #29 of 43)

They were building a church like that in Han[JOBSITE WORD], Mi. this fall and the whole thing fell over (not while they were setting the trusses)


I didn't have a camera or you could have a picture to show your church contractor.


For one thing, people don't realize the enormous effect of wind on trusses, especially if the ends are sheeted when they are installed.


I see at least one catostrophic truss collapse a year and it's always because the bracing wasn't adequate.

(post #84875, reply #34 of 43)

What's your role in the project?


You can specify proper bracing during erection per the manuf. recommendations. Ultimately, though it is their call and their liability. All you can do is encourage them to do it right.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #84875, reply #38 of 43)

"What's your role in the project?"

Supplying the roof trusses.

"You can specify proper bracing during erection per the manuf. recommendations."

We don't specfy erection bracing - We only provide guidelines.

"Ultimately, though it is their call and their liability. All you can do is encourage them to do it right."

Which was the whole point of this thread - How to get the point across.

I don't give a damn about liability. I just don't wanna see anyone get hurt or killed.

So many lawyers, so few bullets.

(post #84875, reply #42 of 43)

Provide written "strong encouragement" to provide proper temporary bracing to provide a safe erection environment.   Just thinking out loud/providing maybe another point of view.  Good luck.

There ain't NO free lunch. Not no how, not no where!

(post #84875, reply #35 of 43)

When I was working for a grain elevator, the state extension service had safety seminars on grain explosions, confined spaces and general safety. They had some kind of cheap lunch before the program. The company sent us to cover their assets . The yr. before I worked there, they lost a worker in a grain suffication incident. I think it ended up costing the co. a pretty good settlement.

In another place I worked, the insurance co. sent a guy out who did a nice presentation on saftey.

Maybe you could sponsor a cooperative venture between ins. co.s, state agencies, vendors, etc. to do some kind of program. Free food during the work day creates some interest.

However, there is nothing that will save an idiot.

(post #84875, reply #37 of 43)

Boss,

Here's a question for you. I hope this is not an unwelcome diversion from the point of your thread.

Typically, I see spreader bars called for on trusses >30'. However, I cannot recall ever seeing a spreader being used on a residential job. Maybe on large commercial trusses, but not on lowly residential sites.

I don't want to come across as one of those guys who, after being given an instruction, asks "did you really mean that?". But I can't help wondering if the spreader bars are overkill. If they are essential, than I would say that 98% of the larger homes around here have compromised roof systems.

 


Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

 

Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

(post #84875, reply #39 of 43)

Regarding speader bars -

The erection and bracing recommendations made by the WTCA and TPI are awfully conservative. I'm guessing that they deliberately wrote them up that way because there were so many accidents. Like they figure that if they make ultra-conservative recommendations then people will do a better job in the field? But it's just speculation.

.

I've personally set 40' trusses without a spreader bar and had no problems. But that's my limit. If you get over 40' I think a small spreader bar (maybe 16' wide or so) is a really good idea.

The basic function of the spreader bar is to keep the trusses from folding in half - Lifting from the peak typically won't damage the trusses otherwise.

If someone is setting trusses 60' long (or longer) without a spreader bar they're really tempting fate. Trusses that long can fold in half easily and drop off the crane's hook. Anybody who has a 300# truss fall on their heads is toast. And you KNOW they'll be lifting those things over people's heads.

When you get up to trusses that are 70' long they're about as ridgid as a piece of copier paper standing on edge. You're getting into some pretty serious stuff there.

Those are my thoughts in a nutshell. I can go into it in more detail if ya want.

I took an I.Q. test and the results were negative.

(post #84875, reply #40 of 43)

Trusses that long can fold in half easily and drop off the crane's hook. Anybody who has a 300# truss fall on their heads is toast. And you KNOW they'll be lifting those things over people's heads.


BTDT. Fortuantely knowone was under the one that broke and the choker was aroundtwo web braces, it didn't come crashing to the ground. I was on a tag line outside the building and wipped into a block wall before a could let go of it. 60'-4", 2x6 truss and it snapped like a potato chip as it was being swung over the 20' tall wall.


One of my very early and lucky days in the trade.

(post #84875, reply #41 of 43)

Boss,

Thanks for the reply.

 


Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA

 

Jon Blakemore

RappahannockINC.com

Fredericksburg, VA