3-For-1: Heartland Reaches Officials, Builders & Framers
Heartland Truss of Plattsburg, Missouri, has been providing truss education to local building officials, builders, and framers for years, thanks in large part to the work of SBCA Missouri chapter president and Heartland truss salesman Jasper Diedriks.
Diedriks maintains close relationships with building officials in his area, and they often ask Heartland to present as part of their continuing education classes. The classes are open to a wide range of construction professionals, which has given Heartland the opportunity discuss trusses with a wide array of construction professionals.
Photo Caption: Attendees at Heartland’s Johnson County Training
The company recently gave presentations in both Johnson County and Douglas County, Missouri. “We try to bring the value of components to the table,” Jasper says, pointing out that many, “aren’t aware how much we offer.” The goal, says Jasper, is getting attendees “to think the same way we do as designers.”
Heartland Senior Designer Scott Clevenger gave his first solo presentation during the Douglas County class on December 7, discussing how to read truss documents.
Photo Caption: Scott Clevenger Presenting at Douglas County Training
In addition, Scott included content on how to handle truss repairs. “I printed up some sample repair packets of a previous job I’d done where they had to add…an attic access and a couple other things,” he says. Doing so gave him an opportunity to discuss what to look for on sealed repairs and field questions afterward.
Scott says the Douglas County class consisted mostly of framers and builders, with whom he finds it important to open up lines of communication. “If you’re speaking to a bunch of builders and framers and you seem to have an expertise, and you know what you’re talking about,” he says, “you’re someone they can turn to.”
When it comes to builders specifically, Scott says, “Builders have so many different trades they’re having to deal with and juggle. It’s a lot, so they need somebody to kind of hold their hand. They want a truss guy. I want to be that truss guy.” He adds, “Just getting your face out there, meeting people, shaking hands, I mean, even if it doesn’t seem to directly produce results, you’re building yourself a reputation.”
Scott finds his opportunities to speak with framers particularly valuable as well, as there remains resistance to componentized construction in his area, including Kansas City where “a majority of new construction is stick framing,” he says.
Scott makes a point of speaking with framers who may be resistant to components to explain the modern state of the industry and discuss how component manufacturers (CMs) have innovative ways to design components that can fit their preferences. Learning what those preferences are is another part of Heartland’s training that Scott finds valuable. “It’s great to hear the perspective of framers and what they deal with,” he says. Scott says that because framers have a “make it work” mindset, they are often reluctant to provide feedback about what CMs could be doing to make their jobs easier. Scott says the training opportunities are his way to find out “not just what went wrong, but what their preferences are.” When it comes to designing framer-friendly products, Scott says, “I want to make it as optimal for them as possible.”
Jasper says that Heartland’s training has “done a lot of good in the years that we’ve been doing it in getting people to understand trusses better,” and both Jasper and Scott encourage other SBCA members to seek out opportunities to offer similar training.
To see if there are opportunities in your area or to find ways to reach out to local schools and groups to offer training, contact SBCA staff, we are eager to help!
SBCA Membership Support Manager Trish Kutz: Assisting CM Presenters and Educators
Trish connects members with associations and institutions in their area who are seeking building component education. Trish supplies CM presenters with SBCA-created presentation and handout materials to use during their educational sessions. Contact Trish if you would like to be considered for opportunities to provide building component education in your area.