Truss Buyer Beware, The Facts About Truss Bracing

There are two types of permanent truss bracing:

  1. Lateral bracing or bridging is typically located at the top & bottom chord planes and is typically comprised of field installed continuous hat channels. Diagonal members or “X”s are located along these lines and coplanar with the chord planes.
  2. Compression member bracing as depicted in the figure to the right is typically located at mid-point or third-points of a compression member requiring additional lateral stability in the week axis in order to increase it’s capacity. This type of bracing is also field installed.

Compression member bracing is a trick used by most truss manufacturers which allows them to use LIGHTER members in their trusses which in effect lowers their costs. Unless this bracing is correctly installed on the specific web member, the member does not have the capacity required to meet the design loads and could ultimately experience failure.

The process involved in correctly bracing these compression webs is complex, dangerous, and costly. Most estimators and installers have no idea as to what the actual bracing requirements are until the trusses arrive on-site or even more likely they are asked to come back to finish the bracing after an Engineer’s inspection.

Considering the daunting and costly task of installing Compression Web Bracing or even worse, not installing it, why would any responsible truss manufacturer even consider this practice? Unfortunately, it comes back to their bottom line…not yours. Atlantic Prefab designs all trusses to not require Compression Web Bracing.