FrameFAST Helps Framer Be “Innovative, Safer, Faster”

Originally published by: FrameFASTOctober 23, 2017

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For a framer that builds well over 2,500 units per year, the stakes associated with being buttoned-up in all aspects of the job get higher.  And when you factor in the realities that come with operating in multiple states, plus the challenges of finding the right skilled labor in today’s market, the world can quickly become a complex place.

This is the landscape that Tom Want lives and works in every day.  Tom is a Partner with Baltimore-based Modu Tech, a turnkey carpentry company that offers general contractors framing labor, building materials, trusses, and panels.  Tom recently completed the first phase of Berkleigh at Greenleigh, a sprawling mixed use development located in Middle River, MD.  Modu Tech was responsible for framing a 4-story,  317 unit multifamily HUD project.

We’re talking with Tom about his experience using FrameFAST, a structural wood framing system from FastenMaster.  Tom’s crews used FrameFAST to make two structural connection types at Berkleigh: roof truss to wall top plate, and floor truss to wall top plate.

Like most residential framers, Tom relies on trusted carpenters for labor.  His ability to meet deadlines and stay profitable is heavily influenced by the jobsite efficiency of his team of rough carpenters.

Modu Tech began using FrameFAST just over a year ago.  The system includes an electric tool and threaded fastener, which together enable the framer to install trusses to top plates while standing at floor level.  This innovative new system is code-compliant in all 50 states and eliminates the need for ladders, hurricane ties, and pneumatic nails.

Because Tom is now able to make these connections with a single fastener, and without climbing a ladder, he sees a real positive impact on the jobsite.  “We have hourly labor making the connections,” Tom says.  “So we save significantly on that cost.”

Phase one of the Berkleigh project required over 7,000 of these connections to be made.  A project of this size and scope would typically result in a 2-3 person crew dedicated to nailing hurricane ties.  Tom was able to use less personnel and less labor hours with FrameFAST.

“By using FrameFAST, I only had one guy making these connections,” Tom said.  “Plus it only took us half the time nails and hurricane ties would have.”

In addition to driving efficiency, Tom is focused on jobsite safety at all times.  Modu Tech has always operated with a full commitment to safety, and they are consistently in search of new ways to ensure their framers perform their jobs safely and efficiently. 

“The big saving with FrameFAST, besides speed, is the safety aspect,” Tom tells us.  “By eliminating ladders, there’s no temptation for guys to try to reach two or three trusses from a ladder without moving it.”

FastenMaster has local personnel throughout the US and Canada along with a technical team that together work with engineers and code officials to drive awareness and education.  This collaboration is something Tom sees a lot of value in.

“I know FastenMaster is working with the major engineers in our area,” he says.  “We plan on using FrameFAST on as many jobs that we can.  Approval from our structural engineer is always critical.”

With another phase at Berkleigh left to complete and other projects still in the pipeline, we ask Tom if he will continue using FrameFAST.  “The fact that this is innovative, safer, faster, and passes inspection is huge for us,” Tom says.  “I can’t imagine going back to nails and hurricane ties.”

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