Truss Terms

BEARING WIDTH – The width dimension of the member providing support for the truss (usually 3 ½” or 5 ½”). Bearing must occur at a truss joint location.

CANTILEVER – That structural portion of a truss which extends beyond the support (bearing). The cantilever dimension is measured from the outside face of the support to the heel joint. Note that the cantilever is different from the overhang.

An upward vertical displacement built into a truss bottom chord to compensate for deflection due to dead load.

the outer members of a truss that define the envelope or shape.

the horizontal (and inclined, i.e. scissor trusses) member defining the lower edge of a truss, carrying ceiling loads where applicable. This member is subject to tensile and bending stresses. (On a simply supported, non-cantilevered truss).

An inclined or horizontal member that establishes the upper edge of a truss. This member is subjected to compressive and bending stresses.

the horizontal distance between inside faces or supports

a galvanized steel plate with teeth punched out on one side, which is hydraulically pressed or rolled into both sides of a joint to fasten chord and web members together.

A main truss supporting secondary trusses framed into it.

The joint in a pitched truss where top and bottom chords meet.

The vertical distance between the outside edge of the point of bearing to the top of the top chord at that location.

the point of intersection of a chord with the web or webs, or an attachment of pieces of lumber (e.g. splice).

a permanent member connected to a web or chord member at right angle to the truss to restrain the member against the buckling failure, or the truss against overturning.

The extension of the top chord beyond the heel joint.

The chord segment between two adjacent joints.

The point of intersection of a chord with the web or webs.

Highest point on a truss where the sloped top chords meet.

Either horizontal 2x member at the top of a stud wall offering bearing for trusses or a shortened form of connector plate, depending on usage of the word.

Top chord cut to provide for vertical (plumb) installation of fascia.

For pitched trusses only – sloping cut of upper portion of the bottom chord at the heel joint.

the units of horizontal run, in one unit of vertical rise for inclined members. (Usually expressed at 3:12, 5:12, etc. (3 inches of rise over a 12 inch span)

The location where the chord member is spliced to form one continuous member. It may occur at a panel point but is more often placed at ¼ panel length away from the joint.

A temporary bottom chord brace, may be omitted if ceiling is attached directly to bottom chord and provides adequate lateral support.

A pre-built structural member capable of supporting a load over a given span. A truss consists of one or more triangles in its construction.

A truss which has the top chord parallel to the bottom chord over the entire length of the truss.

Any truss in which the top chord is sloped and the bottom chord is horizontal.

Members that join the top and bottom chords to form the triangular patterns that give truss action. The members are subject only to axial compression or tension forces (no bending).

Building Anything?

Houses, Garages, Barns, Shops...

If it's trusses you're looking for, we're the place to go!
Click on the link below to get your FREE quote!

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 8:00 - 5:00


I wanted to thank you all for your help and prompt attention to all of my building needs. You greatly outperformed your competition in service, price and attention to detail. I would not consider using any other companies in the future for any of my projects. I will also refer as many people your way as I can.

Trevor Grexton   

"We built a 600 square foot addition and ordered the rafters from Prairie Truss . The product was very well made and fit perfectly. Their support staff was very helpful when we made our order and they were delivered on time and in great shape! We were pleased with the service we received."

Erwin Wipf   

"I have been very happy with the service. We built a 1.5 story house and the design of the rafters was well thought through."

Cal Dueck    Dueck Homes   

"We use Prairie Truss for a lot of our rafter and floor joists. We are always happy with them. Great product and always friendly service."

Craig Bjornson    Contractor   

"Fast service. Was nice dealing with them."

Randy Fedorchuck    Arborg Home Hardware   

"Best place to buy building products. Within one year we have done at least 10 projects with these guys. Wonderful guys to deal with. They take each project very seriously, no matter how big or small the project is. I don't think any one comes close to their service and products."

Gary Brar    Owner of Western Star Inn & Suites   

“I have been buying floor joists and roof trusses for houses, commercial and agricultural buildings from Prairie Truss since 2002. We have enjoyed a very good working relationship and their service and prices have always been good. The rapport is excellent.”

Clinton Plett    Countryside Home Building Centre   

"Great service, good products, and nice to deal with!"

George Stahl    Spring Water Colony   

“We buy trusses from Prairie Truss for our buildings and they are among our top two to three suppliers. They have a good quality product at a good price and are very fair in their dealings. If there are any issues, we can generally work them out.”

Ron Dyck    Penfor Construction   

"We built a house and most stuff was fine. We had some complications but these were rectified fairly quickly. All in all though we were very satisfied and the price was right. The house had very complicated roof and honestly didn't expect everything to go perfect. Solid 8 out of 10."

Joe Hoffart