August 20, 2010

Up go the trusses!

Last Saturday we put up the trusses on the garage...

Putting the trusses up was hard all around. It was physically exhausting from lifting, hauling, climbing and running around. Mentally it was tasking because putting up these trusses was a super dangerous job. Weighing in at about 200lbs, 26ft long and about 12ft high for each truss these bad boys were not to be messed with or underestimated. Wrong moves could have spelled disaster for the truss, our framing or worst of all, one of us who were working on the crew. My dad was on a job site once when a roof collapsed and unfortunately there was a fatality because it.

Right before 8 o'clock in the am we roll up to the job site with coffee in hand. During the next hour we go about prepping the site while our recruited helper, my dad plus our friends Eric and Steve, roll in. Then Pete's dad shows up with our rented scissor lift. Which my dad insisted on and we all agreed that it was $350 well friggen spent at the end of the day.

The guys get down to work with hoisting up and placing the first truss. I'm trying to watch to see where a job roll for myself can be created. Unfortunately, this is where it all started to go downhill for me. I can't really explain why, but I was about two steps short of having a complete panic attack by the time the second truss is going up. It must have been that I watching all these guys whom I really care about and love doing such a dangerous job. Whatever it was exactly, I had to stop watching immediately or I knew I was going to loose it.

Since there was really no job for me to be doing on the trusses I went inside the house and decided to do some organizing of supplies and demolition. Getting away from watching the work outside helped immensely and I was able to focus my energy onto something else besides worrying.
Once I calmed down and after my run to Wawa for lunch for everyone, I was able to snap a few pictures of the work happening. Then I ran back inside and did more work there until late afternoon. Some might say I punking out on putting up the trusses and I get that maybe I was a little bit. But the reality really was that there was not anything I could do to help until a certain point.

That certain point came mid-afternoon when about 2/3 of the trusses were up. After a grueling day of hard work (that we seriously appreciated) two of our crew had to leave. Which is when I jumped in to help finish up. There was an established rhythm going on at that point so I was able to find an area of the job that I could do. Soon enough I fit right in and was working along with everyone like part of a well oiled machine.

The sun was going down as the last truss went up 10 hours after placing the first one. At that point I can hardly explain to you readers the sense of relief that I felt. Everything was up and there were no major accidents that occurred. I hugged our friend as he went to go home for the night, thanking him profusely for all the hard work that he put forth for our benefit. Sometimes the kindness of your friends and family really touches you and this was one of those times. They must really like us to do all that work.

Even though the sun was gone, the night wasn't over. Trusses are super sensitive when just set up with no braces and the last thing we wanted was a stiff breeze blowing through and knocking all the hard work done. After a quick pizza and blueberry pie break we got right to work on bracing the trusses for the night. Even though we planned on coming back the next day to finish the bracing you just never know about the weather and what it plans to do, so we wanted the peace of mind.

Right around 10pm we rolled outta there for the night.

Long hard day it was indeed.


  1. wow nice structure and design you are building.. that are great and feel safe in using lift.. update post..