What Is a Truss? What Is It Used For?

Trusses are structural associates used in engineering, made from lumber or metal. They appear in different designs, typically forming numerous triangles. There are a lot of kinds and sizes of trusses, depending on the sort of project. Each and every condition is modified to fulfill a distinct goal in a building. Whilst these buildings are intriguing, many specifics are a thriller to most folks.

If you’d like to discover more about trusses and their particular utilizes, continue reading through this article to discover an interesting and pleasant rationalization.

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How Does It Work?

Trusses operate by transferring the large load of the roof to the load-bearing partitions. These constructions are created in a unique way that allows them to have outstanding amounts of excess weight and force and distribute it evenly throughout the building.

Trusses perform by the regulations of statics and geometry, which enables them to be amazingly light-weight. Trusses are an upgraded design of a beam with the most tension on its middle. Trusses distribute the pressure throughout their entire framework with the minimum use of materials.

Trusses consist of leading and base chords, with the vertical chords collectively referred to as the webbing, typically in triangular shapes. Trusses can be made from metal or lumber, dependent on their function and use. The triangles that the vertical connections make are anchored and can't get distorted by considerable amounts of tension.

roof truss
Image Credit: Ralphs_Fotos, Pixabay

What Are the Different Types of Trusses?

There are numerous sorts of trusses dependent on when and what they are utilised on. In the text underneath, you can uncover some of the most frequent trusses utilised in residential and commercial structures or constructions.

  • Warren Truss: Warren trusses consist of several equilateral triangles, depending on the project size. The triangles provide a sturdy structure, making this design perfect for bridges. For larger projects, you can add vertical members to lengthen the span of the truss.
  • Gable Truss: Gable trusses are primarily used in roof structures at the end of each roof, providing additional support. They consist of two top chords, one bottom chord, and multiple vertical members connecting them.
  • Pratt Truss: The Pratt truss system combines vertical and diagonal members, where the diagonal members are in tension, and the vertical ones are in compression. The diagonal pieces are always positioned to face the center vertical members. The Pratt truss is designed to support bridges, although many accommodations have made it suitable for residential roofs.
  • Vierendeel Truss: Vierendeel truss only consists of vertical, parallel chords without diagonal members. These trusses are primarily used in bridges and are not as common as roof support. Nevertheless, the lack of diagonal members makes these trusses ideal for adding windows and doors.
  • King-post Truss: The king-post truss is one of the most common trusses used for roofs. Its design is simple yet practical. It consists of two top chords, one bottom chord, and a vertical center post. This design makes it very aesthetically pleasing for roofs, and the bottom chord can be curved to provide a more elegant appeal when exposed.
  • Queen-post Truss: The queen-post truss is similar to the king-post truss without the middle vertical post. Instead, this truss has two shorter poles connecting the top and bottom chords. These trusses are much more suitable for larger projects, and the space between the two vertical poles makes the design versatile and practical.

Where Is It Used?

Trusses are utilized in a number of professional and household buildings. It is utilized as structural support when required, despite the fact that, for some buildings, it also delivers a specific rustic and sophisticated charm. Trusses are quite flexible and usually employed on a wide range of structures—from bridges, airport terminals, sports stadium roofs, and aircraft hangers to home and cathedral roofs. Trusses can be utilized anywhere in which there is a need to have for extended spans, horizontal balance, and weighty roof masses.

steel roof truss
Image Credit: aitoff, Pixabay

Advantages of Trusses

There are several benefits of employing trusses in certain properties, and now that you know how these structural elements function, you can understand their importance.

  • Affordable and easy to install.
  • Trusses provide the roof with much more stability and support more weight than roofs without trusses.
  • Roofs with trusses last much longer and need fewer repairs over time.
  • Installing trusses in your home allows you to make more changes and customizations to the inner walls, which don’t have to endure as much weight from the roof anymore.

Disadvantages of Trusses

Given that trusses are such a significant development in the historical past of construction perform, they have really few flaws.

  • The vertical and diagonal members take up space in your attic.
  • They are not suitable for every roof type.
  • They require a professional team to preassemble them and install them in your home with the need of extra equipment, depending on the size of the project.
wooden roof truss
Image Credit: WFranz, Pixabay

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much Weight Can a Truss Hold?

The load-bearing capability of a single truss is dependent primarily on the project’s dimension and the supplies utilized. Typically the lifeless load capability of a roof truss is amongst seven and 10 kilos for each sq. foot. Nevertheless, you are going to have to contemplate the hanging weights to determine the bodyweight a truss can keep.

What Kind of Lumber Is Used for Roof Trusses?

For crafting roof trusses, contractors primarily use hardwood and softwood timber. The lumber has to be robust, agency, dense, yet fairly lightweight. The ideal wood utilized for this project is crimson cedar, yellow pine, and seasoned fir.


Soon after looking through about trusses, what they are, and how they are utilized, you will get a a lot clearer picture of how outstanding and clever these structures are. Trusses are meant to have the roof’s weighty load and transfer it to the walls, creating a stable building. Trusses are also employed in bridge creating and for several other extraordinary reasons. Their resilient, versatile, and long-long lasting homes make them essential in today’s development tasks.


Highlighted Image Credit history: dorisrothbauer, Pixabay