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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island and Cape Cod
    Posts
    16

    Default placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Is there any rule of thumb as to when it's best to use a crane to place trusses on the wall or whether it's okay to not use a crane and just lift them and place them by hand. The outside dimensions of the structure are 22 ft X 26 ft. The walls are about 10 feet high from the ground. The trusses are 22' wide with 8 inch overhang (pitch is 12/8-3/4). The main trusses only weigh 88 lbs and the 2 gable end trusses weigh 113 lbs. Would it be safe to just use the crane to lift them into place.... or is it safe to do without the crane??

    Thanks for you input and suggestions

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    656

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Have you ever set trusses before by hand?

    We typically get a crane even though our jobs are smaller size additions. Just yesterday we set one girder truss, 8 common trusses, and one gable truss with a crane. It did cost almost $500 but for the time & energy it saved and the increased safety I think it was worth it. You can also have all your sheathing and other building materials lifted up with a crane.
    Jon Blakemore
    www.RappahannockINC.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Diego (Northern Mexico)
    Posts
    3,976

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    jfcape;

    If they're on 2' centers, that would only be 2 gable ends and 12 commons. We use cranes all the time for full houses but I wouldn't even think of getting a crane for anything that small. Eat a bowl of Wheaties and start loading. 2 guys could load those in the time it would the crane to set up.

    Jon;

    Next time you have a job like that, call me. I'll bring my grandmother and we'll load it for you for $400.
    Tom

    Support your country always, support your government only when they deserve it! - Mark Twain
    This fall, fire them all, DON'T RE-ELECT ANYONE!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,302

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    I agree - we don't do that much new construction, but we've set trusses by hand many times - especially single-story buildings. If you can get them delivered to the top plates, great, but I wouldn't pay a crane for something small and low.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,434

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    HE HE ! I agree.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Walnut, IL 61376
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    I do deal with this almost daily. Get a crane, save your back and your strength. Much safer too. If it works, hire the crane for 2nd pull, they will usually charge less, or cut down on minimum time. Or maybe tough guy for $400 will come by and you can watch !
    Keith

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    What is the cheapest you can get a crane for in your area? Last year, we hired a smaller crane for $75 an hr. with a three hour minimum. For small money like that I would at least think about a crane.

    We set trusses alot without a crane but they are always small. Biggest I have done was a 32' 5/12 they were fairly light. We had the excavator put them on the top plates for us and we took it from there. Ideally, if you can get them on the top plates mechanically the rest is easy.

    If you don't have the trusses on site why not pay the driver to boom them on the walls for you? A little cash can go along way.
    Last edited by Adam Smith; 07-14-2006 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Yup
    TwoSons Construction

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island and Cape Cod
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Thanks all for your suggestions and input. The crane in my area with operator is $90 an hour... should take about 5 hours. We could probably lift the trusses into position without the crane... but for under $500... might be worth it to have the crane do the work. Thanks again for the input.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Quote Originally Posted by jfcape
    Thanks all for your suggestions and input. The crane in my area with operator is $90 an hour... should take about 5 hours. We could probably lift the trusses into position without the crane... but for under $500... might be worth it to have the crane do the work. Thanks again for the input.

    John
    Huh? That's almost 1/2 hour per truss.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Battle Creek Michigan
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    I always use a crane, it's $75 an hour and it's worth it.
    I sheet the gables and put the overhangs on while they are laying on the ground. The crane grabs them and sets the whole thing in place.
    The picture is of a bonus room over a garage. Girder trusses on each side and 2x10's in between. The trusses spanned 23' with a 12/12 pitch. I built this on the ground as well and it fit great. Well worth the $75 an hour fee.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Stretch; 07-14-2006 at 03:58 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,889

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Stretch

    I'm suprised you could pick up the that load by the top chord. Were the trusses engineered to be picked up that way? Did you talk to the truss fabricator before you flew them in or did you take a chance?
    I've ganged sections of trusses on the ground before and flown them into place but never with a load like that on the bottom chord.

    dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    I agree you with the weight on the bottom cord as well. Did you really just take the risk of having that truss chord fall apart, or did you know through engineering that it would hold? If you just did it at whim I would have to say you have more balls than I do.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,685

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    JF, The only correct answer is: It Depends.

    No offense, but it sounds like you don't have much experience, so the right answer for you might not be what other guys would do.

    The pitch you gave makes no sense, but its a factor that needs to be considered.

    My rules of thumb:

    Cost of the crane vs. doing it without one. Don't forget the minimum charge, and what will your guys be doing while waiting for the crane to setup.

    Are the trusses tall? On even a simple garage with 10/12 trusses, 24' long, you need a crane. They're too tall too flip by hand.

    Its usually not cost efficient to use a crane for low-pitch trusses on one-story buildings. Even with alot of trusses you can be pretty productive just flipping them by hand.

    Your job doesn't sound like you need a crane. But I can't be sure, because I don't know what the pitch is.

    Tom
    1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
    2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
    3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
    4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

    May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Battle Creek Michigan
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    My truss designer was there to watch. I had built that bonus room and the 2 hipsets on the ground and craned them in. He loved watching it. He seen no real problem with doing it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Walnut, IL 61376
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: placing trusses w/crane or without??

    Tom, I agree there are some variables involved: 1) How are trusses delivered to job i.e. Roller Trailer, Roll back, Flatbed, Crane mounted Truck....2) Room around building 3) Safety...Had one of our crews rolling trusses when one guy on wall reached down for heel that was slipping off, fell and broke a bone in his neck that will never heal...And once you hire crane depends on minimum time wether I would fly them up in bunks or one at a time.
    Keith

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