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Old 09-15-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


Is there a accepted way to secure/nail the truss to the top plate?
Or is there a right way versus all other methods?
A friend of mine insist on four 16d through one side and 1 16d on the other???

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Old 09-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


It totally depends on the truss, and the required uplift connection. You get about 90 pounds of uplift resistance for every properly installed 16d nail you toenail in. There comes a point where a few nails is too many nails, and compromises the uplift resistance of the truss.

The connection needed is specified for each individual truss on the MiTek or Alpine truss packet (not the layout) that gives the design data for each truss. If the work is being inspected, plan on having that packet there for the inspector.

Personally, I'm a fan of truss clips and three or four toenails max, unless the specs dictate more.

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Old 09-15-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


thanks again for your help. I'm going to use the "U" shaped hurricane straps for the final tie in.
I was wondering if there was a general consensus on toe nailing during truss setting day. Of course, I may be over thinking this!
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:37 PM   #4
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


You're probably overthinking, but don't exceed 4 or 5 nails in most circumstances. Actually, I forgot about our previous truss discussion...

For your trusses (being 50' long), you'd be smart to get a nice beefy hurricane tie to anchor your trusses. Maybe something more substantial than what I pictured above. Check with your truss guy to see what he suggests!

If you can, take some pictures to show us how you set your trusses and finish your garage/barn!
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


for sure...
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:46 PM   #6
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Keep 'em all vertical!!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


You may wish to consider that if you do nail 16d's in, and spot 4 of them on 1 side, there is a fine opportunity to split the wood, and that would weaken the truss to wall connection. What we do now is drive a 4 inch torx screw right up through the plates into the truss, and one from each side. The clips get screwed on with 2-1/2 inch torx screws. Never had an inspector look twice.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #8
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


To clarify Termite's response - he was partially correct and much more informed than most contractors.

In actuality, the uplift load resistance for a single 16d toenail into a truss depends on the species of wood into which the nail is being driven. Most 2"x4" lumber (from which the top plates are made) is SPF (Spruce-Pine-Fir). The withdrawal resistance of a single 16d nail into an SPF top plate is actually 37# per nail. Thus, with three nails the total uplift resistance would be approximately 111#. That being said, most building codes require an uplift connection of a minimum 175# at the bearing of each roof framing member. Toenailing won't get you there. You must use an engineered connector such as a Simpson Strong-Tie H2.5 or H2.5A. These connectors have varying uplift resistance capacities based on wood species and thickness of the truss itself. In certain circumstances, you can use (2) connectors to double to load resistance. As Termite indicated, always consult the truss design drawings for the actual uplift loads. Also, use only the fasteners (typically nails) that are recommended by the manufacturer for use with the specific connector being used.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:56 PM   #9
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


the truss-to-plate connection is based upon 3 different forces, uplift, lateral (parallel to truss) and shear (perpendicular to the truss).

the truss manufacturer should be able to provide these loads for you. They can be determined using the "Wood Frame Construction Manual" and based on the following:

1. Basic Wind Speed Zone
2. Wind Exposure Category
3. Truss span
4. Member Spacing

In my area we typically use 8d commons for toe-nails for lateral and shear loads, and a hurricane tie/strap for the uplift loads. Hurricane tie can be sized for all three loads per the manufacturer's specifications, however you'll normally toe-nail the truss on top of the wall to keep it in place so using toe-nails for lateral and shear make the connection easier to calculate.

GregK is correct in that the species of wood (specific gravity) determines the holding power of fasteners. Hurricane ties are to be selected based upon the wood species the truss is built from. The manufacturer's catalog typically provides force resistance of common species such as SPF and DF/SP.

Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:02 PM   #10
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


For me, the nailing on "truss setting day" is just enough to keep them where they should be, both relative to their position lengthways on the top plate, e.g. 16 or 24" centers) as well as side to side across both walls on which they will sit to insure equal overhang. For this, a couple of 16p gun nails one side and one through the other at each end should be fine.next should come whichever tie downs your local code requires or the tie downs shown earlier in this thread. Did this a few months back and was going to use the tie downs that came with the trusses (again those pictured earlier) but thought to check with the building inspector who sad that they would be fine......as long as I was willing to screw a four inch ledger lock at an angle through the top plate into each one.....or I could use the u-shaped model and skip the ledger locks. U-shaped it was!, ron
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:38 PM   #11
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


i completely agree with joasis, 4 16d`s on one side is too many. 2 on one side and one on the other is more than enough even then splitting can occur quite easily. hand nailing them is more likely to cause splitting because of the larger shanks for this reason i use framing gun with air spikes
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:49 PM   #12
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


One hand drive each side through the gusset.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:58 AM   #13
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


Gary is correct. The loads he mentioned should be shown on the truss design drawings as well. An important load to consider is the truss reaction, which is essentially the load the truss transfers to the wall and is factored as fully loaded (i.e. all dead loads such as sheathing, roof covering, and the truss itself) and all live loads (I.e. snow, construction materials, people). For a normal truss, this load is typically fairly low. For girder trusses, the loads can actually be quite high. Special consideration must be given for the required bearing area of the truss to determine if bearing enhancement is required. Such enhancement can be in the form of "bearing blocks" which are specified on the truss drawings, or hardware that is fastened to the truss and distributes the loads over a larger area to prevent crushing of the truss chord and the top plate.

Consideration should also be given to the stud columns that support the girder truss loads. I don't know how many contractors and even architects have told me "if it's a 3-ply girder truss, I use 3 studs". That won't always work. In some cases, an engineered wood column (either LSL or PSL) is necessary. A qualified person should make that determination.

Last edited by GregK; 04-03-2014 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Misspelling
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:12 PM   #14
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Toe nailing trusses to the top plate?


I would check with (irc) to determine nailing requirements

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