The Complete Package
The Complete Package
Our products live and die by the individuals who install them. Every page of this issue attests to the fact that the skill and knowledge of the framers handling our components can either make us heroes (see Perfect Form), middlemen (see Holy Truss) or goats (see Long [Attention!] Span). I am convinced that the most effective way for me to be the hero more often than the goat (I hate being the goat) is to give an SBCA Jobsite Package to the general contractor (GC) and framing crew on every job.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a $500 car port or a million-dollar multi-family development; I want one of those plastic bags full of industry best practices in the hands of everyone handling my products. You all know as well as I, that if those components aren’t handled or installed correctly, I’m going to hear about it and I’m probably not going to be happy.
The biggest problem is that the Jobsite Package frequently gets lost on the jobsite or is simply ignored. Sometimes you can put it in their hands, and they don’t bother to read it. Sometimes they can’t read it. For example, I had a job recently where this was an issue. It was a big nursing home, with three-part long span trusses. The entire framing crew was Hispanic, but even though the Jobsite Package is bilingual, these guys couldn’t read Spanish either.
The framing crew didn’t read the documents, didn’t look at the pictures, and didn’t understand the need for a spreader bar. As they lifted each truss, it would deflect, causing some of the plates to pop off. I remember getting the call from the building owner, a doctor, who was furious and thought something was wrong with the quality of our trusses.
When I showed up on the jobsite and saw what was happening, I couldn’t stop them fast enough. Several truss repairs later, the building owner had fired the original crew and hired a second framing crew to complete the installation. The supervisor of the second crew knew to use a spreader bar, but unfortunately, he didn’t read the Jobsite Package either, and didn’t put up any bracing.
As the trusses started to twist out of plane, I got another call from the building owner. They don’t make Rolaids strong enough for that kind of heartburn. I got the GC and the building owner out on the jobsite and explained to them that we’d need to hire a professional engineer (PE) to inspect the building and create a bracing plan to fix the problem. After several site visits, the PE designed the plan, and the crew spent several days implementing it before the building was back on track.
If I wasn’t convinced the Jobsite Package is a necessity before that project, I certainly am now. I am also convinced that simply having your driver drop it off with the component package at the jobsite isn’t enough, unless you’ve worked with the framing crew several times in the past and totally trust they know what they’re doing.
Anytime we work with a GC or an inexperienced crew for the first time, we visit with them ahead of delivery, follow the enclosed Information for Framers and walk them through B1 – Guide for Handling, Installing, Restraint & Bracing of Trusses, B2 – Truss Installation & Temporary Restraint/Bracing, B3 – Web Member Permanent Bracing/Web Reinforcement, B4 – Construction Loading and B11 – Fall Protection & Trusses. I make sure to emphasize any of the best practices contained in those Summary Sheets that might be particularly important, given the components that will be used on that particular job, such as bracing details for long span truss installation.
Enjoy this issue. Put yourself in the shoes of the manufacturers highlighted in these stories and think about whose boots you’d prefer to be in. Then, read Parting Shots to find out how the National Framer’s Council is going to be a game changer, and how you can get involved.