Raising Roof Trusses without a Crane

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Old 01-09-06, 04:39 PM
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Raising Roof Trusses without a Crane

My father and I are framing our 2nd house and will be getting the roof trusses in the next couple weeks. It doesn't appear that a crane is going to be an option so I'm looking for some good methods on raising the trusses with old fashioned muscle. On the 1st house we built rafters so this will be a new experience for me. Any help would be great. These trusses are 30' wide. I figured I would build some scaffolding so we can easily walk around on top of the walls but other than that how do the pros do it? Also how heavy can I expect these to be?
 
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Old 01-09-06, 06:50 PM
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i was gonna walk on this one, but had to ask. why is the crane not an option ?
in any event, how about some 2x8 rails and a winch from your best friend's 4x4?
if someone figured out how to get that last block on the pyramid, i guess you can solve this one. good luck
 
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Old 01-09-06, 07:05 PM
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Generally you just need some more help and hard hats. 2 guys stay on the exterior walls while the trusses are carried over to the gable end. You can let a truss hang upside down inside the walls, then someone with a 2x4 that has a "fork" on the end will raise the peak up and support it while someone else with a fork will support the middle of the bottom chord (so that it doesn't break under its own weight) while you drag it down into position. When you're ready to stand it up, tell the guy who is holding the fork in the peak, and he'll stand it up. (with bigger trusses you might want 2 or 3 guys with forks in the peak.) 30' trusses shouldn't be too hard provided you have 2 other guys to help you and your dad.

Some of the larger forklifts have forks that can extend out over the peak of a house, and they're a great alternative to renting a crane. A little rope or chain and a hook and you're in business.
 
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Old 01-10-06, 09:21 AM
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XSLEEPER has it right. I have built a few barns this way. I would plan on about 5-6 poeple to get it done.
 
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Old 01-10-06, 03:25 PM
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The fork idea sounds like a good one. I live in a small town and cranes are just not an option where I live. Atleast not an affordable option. I may look into renting a forklift though.

Thanks for the replies!
 
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Old 01-10-06, 04:04 PM
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well that does sound better. i had this image of just you and your dad hauling these things.
 
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Old 01-11-06, 07:24 PM
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JOHNNEY:
All of the information given here is good. However, there is another very easy way that was not mentioned and only takes 3 guys. My guys set trusses about every 3 weeks. 2 guys and me. 30 ft trusses will weight about 75-85 lbs. Two guys carry the truss to about where it is going to rest. Left the tails up on the walls, the point is down. One step ladder on each side. One man on each step ladder, the third man flips the truss upward with the fork. The guys on each end secure the truss. Have a bunch of 2 x 4's, 8' are the best. When you have two trusses up, nail the 2x4 across them to help support them. We have put up trusses as long as 50' and it does not take very long. Good Luck
 
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Old 01-12-06, 04:37 PM
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75-85 lbs? That doesn't sound too bad. I imagined them being heavier. Quick dumb question, do people generally toe-nail the trusses into the wall or is there some type of braket they can be mounted on? My father says toe-nailing is ok but seems like that wouldn't be too strong to me.
 
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Old 01-12-06, 06:10 PM
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My father in law recently built a 960 sq ft garage. He was too cheap to bite the bullet a rent a crane so he called me for help. The trusses were over a 20 ft span, 10/12 and had a 15ft upper room (they were huge and heavy). I was way to busy at the time to offer my help but called my father and his partner to help. 5-6 guys were used and some ropes and after 8 hours the trusses were set and 80 of the decking was in place.

My father added up his partners and his time and wages ($30 an hour each) and figured it would have been cheaper with a crane!!! Next summer I'll be building a similiar garage and a crane will be used if not a Lull.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 07:56 AM
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We frame with 3 guys as Jack stated. One on each side and one guy in the middle with a 10-12' 2x4 with a Y on the end. I always get stuck flipping the trusses with the Y. My suggestion is the strongest person is the one with the Y.

Another suggestion, cut 'cheat boards' to set against the previous truss to automaticly set the spacing between trusses. You set the board against the previous truss on both sides, flip and slide the new truss into place, nail and repeat.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 06:11 PM
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Maybe nobody saw my question buried in my last post but do you guys toenail the trusses into the walls top plate or is there some type of fastener that is used?
 
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Old 01-15-06, 01:20 AM
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John: Yes, you toe nail in the trusses. I use #18 sinkers, 2 on each side. Then after all the trusses are in place and roof sheeted, most codes require that hurricane ties be applied. Your trusses will seem woobly until you get your sheeting on. Remember to put your cross bracing on as you are setting them. When nailing, it is ok to put a nail through the metal truss plate. I use an air nailer, but nailing by hand is ok. Good Luck
 
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Old 01-15-06, 06:23 AM
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Thank you.
 
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