Catwalk construction for Truss installation

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Old 12-22-14, 03:17 PM
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Catwalk construction for Truss installation

I am going to start putting up the roof trusses for my new construction right after Christmas.
I came accross an article on truss installation by Larry Haun.
Rolling Roof Trusses - Fine Homebuilding Article

From the article, I really like the idea of building a temporary catwalk right down the middle and feel it will really help with the installation.

I would appreciate some ideas on how to build something similar, ideally by just using 2x4 and 2x6.

Thanks
 
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Old 12-22-14, 03:49 PM
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It makes it much easier to walk down the center of the tall truss centers with a catwalk installed. It also helps to keep the truss bottoms true at 24". Just run staggered 2x6's down the middle. This will give you 11 1/2" of walking space. Measure carefully and fasten securely to the bottom chord.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 05:03 PM
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Thanks Chandler.

Generally, I would agree. But I have a somewhat complicated hip roof with couple different ceiling heights. in this case, it would be more helpful to have the catwalk before the trusses are installed. Among other things, I can set the trusses flat before installation if there is something like that right in the middle.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 05:07 PM
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I am not sure I follow you. The catwalk will need to be above the bottom chords of the trusses, not below them. We install ours after the trusses and bracing are in place. Not sure how you would install them before the trusses are installed.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 05:26 PM
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Did you see the article that I posted? There are some pictures in there that might explain what I am talking about. The catwalk is below the trusses, it is kind of like an interior wall.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 05:45 PM
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OK, using the type trusses they used you can get away with a temporary walkboard running down the middle with support at walls and inbetween. With flat chord bottoms, you can use them, too, but will have to set the walkboard 1 1/2" below the top plate so it won't interfere with the truss installation. You should still use the staggered lumber set up to keep spacing of the bottom chord equal for ceiling installation later on.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 06:00 PM
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Owner, is this your first set of trusses? How big? How much help?

Bud
 
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Old 12-22-14, 06:03 PM
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On my last garage build (48'x30') I hired a crane to set them. Worked out to $19 each. Far easier and safer than man handling.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 06:07 PM
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Yes it is first. As far as help is concerned, I can get as many guys as needed.

Most of the trusses are between 24 and 30' long. There are a couple 33' long and many small ones(for the hip part). The pitch is 8/12 for the houes and 10/12 for the garage.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 06:15 PM
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I am looking at all the options. The issue is that I have a challenging lot with an existing house and garage(where we are currently living). Basically it would be an issue for a large crane to make it up to where it would need to sit. And a smaller crane would not have enough reach.

The other option, which I am leaning towards is renting a construction forklift. Using the forklift while having the catwalk similar to the one in the article would make the installation a lot easier.
 
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Old 12-22-14, 06:30 PM
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My son and I put up a 28x30 garage with walk through trusses using the below boards to walk on. We pushed the trusses up a pair of ramps to some cleats, then went on top and used ropes to pull them the rest of the way up. Once on top they slid nicely to where they needed and tipped vertically.

Be sure yout first truss has something to brace against and is perfectly vertical. They sell metal braces for 24" oc and they work great, but your first truss may have a different space. Take two 2' x 3' pieces of plywood and cut a 2x4 notch spaced for the 24" spacing. Once the truss is vertical, these boards will hold the top properly spaced while you secure the bottoms. Then add the braces.

As a note, it is the truss itself you want to end up properly positioned as the ends may very slightly. Perfect preplanning will make the job easier, just don't let things get away from you. More tips if needed.

Bud
 
 

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