50' Truss Bracing Demo Focuses on Practicality for Framers

On the BCMC show floor, SBCA has constructed two roof truss systems comprised of five identical 50-foot trusses. One truss system is fully braced according to the guidance provided in the BCSI booklet. The other truss system has bracing within the web-member plane only. BCMC attendees will have an opportunity this week to walk on the system and get a feel for the truss stability of each bracing approach.

National Framers Council (NFC) executive director Chris Tatge led a crew of four, who installed BCSI-compliant bracing to a five truss set in two and a half hours (10 total man hours).  Tatge pointed out that while the system is extremely stable, fall protection considerations make the approach impractical. “To install the bracing, you have to be so high up on the top chords and there isn’t anything to tie off to. A framer has to expose themselves to a greater fall risk to install the bracing, and then again when they have to take it off.”

A framing crew of two then installed web-member-plane-only bracing to a second set of five trusses in an hour (2 total man hours). Tatge said, “the best part about this approach to bracing is a framer can install everything from the bottom chord of the truss. In a single-family situation, that means the framer doesn’t have to be more than eight to ten feet off the ground.”

Tatge (pictured above) acknowledges the system moves a little more than the BCSI-braced system, but “the important thing it is still very solid and moves as an entire unit. Plus, this approach saves me 80 percent of the cost of labor.”