Help with installing overhead racks in garage!

Old 11-15-18, 08:15 PM
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Help with installing overhead racks in garage!

I've recently installed NewAge 4x8 racks to my garage and I've realized I may have made a big mistake in doing so. I've installed them into trusses in the open part of my garage. The rack itself is 45kg (99lbs) and I haven't placed anything heavy on the rack (just pillows and space occupying objects). The truss near the exterior wall is 2x6 and the medial truss is 2x4. I will hopefully be having a structural engineer come out to check this (if they are agreeable to do such a small job that is) but I was hoping to get some advice as to whether or not I should take down the rack prior to his/her assessment. I live in Canada so we definitely get some good snowfall on the roof.

Any advice/help would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-15-18, 08:45 PM
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It's generally accepted that the bottom chords of trusses can handle about 10 lbs per Sq ft for light storage. So pillows are fine. But if you store the bowling leagues balls up there that might be a problem. Correct me if im wrong, but the problem seems to be that all that weight looks to be concentrated at only 4 attachment points... 2 on the same truss.

The rack might be able to hold more weight if it was oriented perpendicular to its current position ... and supported more often... so it could be mounted into several trusses, not just one. I know that's probably not practical due to space limitations but wanted to mention it so that you can understand how loading works.
Old 11-15-18, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! I just checked my garage and unfortunately it doesn't work in the perpindicular orientation. I'll make sure to keep it very light until I get the structural engineer in. Thanks again!
Old 11-16-18, 02:50 AM
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I certainly dont think you need a structural engineer to take a look, as mentioned as long as you are not storing a load of bricks up there you will be fine.

I have several home made racks in my garage, and have for many homes, for my bikes and sets of tires and wheels. Two sets of tires and wheels across two joists is a lot of weight but I have seen buddies with a hell of a lot more!

I've even hoisted an engine out of a car that was supported by a few joists, your fine.
Old 11-16-18, 05:43 AM
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Possibly another issue is how you mounted your storage rack. You are not permitted to drill any holes into a truss. Screws and nails are OK because the wood remains. The fastener just splits the fibers but drilling a hole for bolts or lag screws removes wood. Worst is to drill into the bottom of the truss where stresses are highest. So, make sure you keep the rack lightly loaded.

As for the structural Engineer you might get one to look at your project for about $500 if they are located nearby. Otherwise it would likely cost more. They would likely say is that you can't mount to the truss and they might recommend a repair or reinforcing for the trusses you drilled. The issue is that trusses are usually designed for a light load equally spaced along the bottom chord like the weight of sheetrock. Your storage rack has all the load focused on four points. The two attachments in the center of the span are the bigger concern.

I see that you are already storing heavier items like hanging tires and other items from the bottom of the storage rack. You really should keep that shelf lightly loaded. And yes, things hanging from the bottom also count as weight on the shelf hanging from your trusses.

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