CM Perspective: Jobsite Packages


CM Perspective: Jobsite Packages

Larry Dix

Larry Dix is the owner of Apex Truss in Warsaw, Virgina. He serves on SBCA’s board of directors and is co-chair of SBCA's Membership Committee.

From time to time I get asked the question, “What is the value in being a member of the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA)?” My immediate response is always the relationships that are built while attending Open Quarterly Meetings (OQMs), chapter meetings, and the Building Component Manufacturers Conference (BCMC). 

Relationships with other component manufacturers (CMs), and suppliers help our company to be proactive instead of reactive. I would much rather be in a place of strength by getting ahead of industry issues than I would be experiencing those issues myself and dealing with them in a reactive manner. Having relationships with other SBCA members has allowed me to be proactive countless times throughout my career. 

At one of the very first SBCA meetings I went to back in 2012, one of the main topics of discussion was jobsite packages. I started listening to other CMs tell stories about how they were struggling with claims or litigation due to being sued for trusses collapsing and/or people getting hurt on the jobsite because of improper installation. This hadn’t happened at our company, and to be honest, I hadn’t given it much thought. However, the reality was it could very likely happen to Apex at any moment. All of a sudden, it became one of the most important, time sensitive issues I needed to solve. Thankfully, SBCA already had the solution: Jobsite Packages. 

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Kent Pagel, SBCA’s legal counsel, reviewed and helped create the Jobsite Package, which is a collection of documents sent by the CM with every product delivery to promote safe handling and installation practices. This is great for two reasons. The first being that you help keep your customer and/or framer safe. The second being that you are insuring every job you work on for just a few dollars. Some companies charge their customers for the jobsite packages and include it on the bill of lading, so it costs them absolutely nothing. Apex takes a picture of the jobsite package once it has arrived at the jobsite. This ensures that our company has legal documentation that every step possible has been taken to ensure the safety of installers and proper installation. 

After returning from that first SBCA meeting I implemented the jobsite packages immediately. We are paying $5-7 per package (depending on how many we purchase per month), but we make it back tenfold due to being legally protected. 

In 2009, Kent Pagel wrote an article called “He Who Supplies the Jobsite Package ‘Makes the Rules’ in Litigation.” In this article Kent wrote, “while the jobsite package is far from gold in terms of its cost, it can be a ‘golden’ defense much of the time to product and completed operations claims/litigation asserted against component manufacturers and their plate connector suppliers.” 

If you’re not an active member in SBCA — attending OQMs, local chapter meetings, and the BCMC — you’re not taking advantage of all the priceless knowledge, applicable advice, and resources available to grow and protect your company.  If you aren’t using SBCA’s Jobsite Packages, you are missing out on the cheapest form of insurance available to you.