Floor Trusses Safe and Sound but am I?

What a day.  I am thankful I made it through it.

Although as I lie in bed with my knees over a bolster,  after hanging on the inverter table for 20 minutes, after a hot bath, and after a heavy duty pain reliever, I am not so sure I have actually made it through the day and dread how I will probably feel in the morning.

I have talked about the back a lot, and so should come clean.  I have lumbar disc issues.  This is a re-injury. Back in 2007/2008 I ended up spending the better part of 9 months in bed, as I had two discs that were both herniated and perforated (bulged and torn). For the first month was not able to even get out of bed unassisted.  The back eventually did get better and was doing so well until last fall when it started to show its ugly side again.  I planned on just grinning and bearing it during the build and in fact, while I was taking the house down, it actually got much better. Better than it had been in years and I had renewed hope.

But then I injured it while lifting the reel of cable for the tarp.  A few weeks later and all seemed right again and I was doing so well.  Then I picked up the excavator tracks at the shop.  These were just rolled into and out of the back of the SUV (no lifting), but somehow this strained the discs and they have refused to settle down since (over a couple of months).  I have good days and bad.  And my team of massage therapists and physiotherapist are desperately trying to keep me going.

So I am now resigned to the fact that I will have many bad days and will just need to persevere through it.   What choice do I really have.   So please understand when I need to take a day off here and there to recover.  It is not that I am lazy, it will be because if I just always work through it, I could do permanent and serious harm.  Tomorrow may be one of those days, but fortunately starts with a physiotherapy appointment.

So, what events today led to my latest physical setback?  A new found knowledge that 3/4 crushed rock does not compact. Not one iota.  I had left all of the gravel in the footing zones proud of my finished elevation by an inch or so thinking there would be SOME settlement after compacting.  No such luck, I guess this is why it is so effective as structural fill and why the geotech advised it was 100% SPD as soon as it is slung into place.

I was at the site at 7:30 AM to await the arrival of the telehandler.    While I waited I worked on the motion activated spots I will install in front of the supplies trailer.  Shortly after 8 the machine arrived and I headed off to the rental shop to pick up a plate compactor.  I used the telehandler to lift both the compactor and the metal beam into the pit.

Did someone order a compactor?

Did someone order a compactor?

A little overkill for the task, but got the job done.

A little overkill for the task, but got the job done.

I fully ‘compacted’ all of the footing zones and then ran the laser level across all.  If they had settled, it was to little to observe.  So now I had to power rake all of the excess gravel off the footing areas.  This work had to be done before the floor trusses arrived, as I just knew the trusses would take the rest of the day, and I wanted to re-compact the regraded gravel before the end of the day so I did not have a second day of rental.  Where it had taken parts of three days to originally grade the gravel, I re-graded the whole thing in about three hours this morning.  This raking is what did in my back.  The compactor operation just cemented in the pain!

Raking the extra 1" off all footing zones.

Raking the extra 1″ off all footing zones.

As soon as I was done and contemplating returning the compactor for a 4 hour rental rate, a very large transport truck turned the corner and I knew the rest of my day was about to start.  The 53ft transport van was empty except for my trusses.  But the skids were tightly against the back and side wall.

That is a long ways in!

That is a long ways in!

Nice smooth compacted footing zones in foreground and working on dragging out skids of trusses in the background.

Nice smooth compacted footing zones in foreground and working on dragging out skids of trusses in the background.

We spent the better part of the next two hours wrangling the shipment to the door side of the van.  I had two 20ft straps and a chain.  The telehandler had a 20′ or so reach into the van.  We were finally able to push straps down around the entire perimeter of the package and drag towards the door by attaching the straps to the telehandler with the chain.

I dragged the full package so that it projected out of the truck just past the half way point (was heavier at the back side than front).  I then build a stand to support the cantilevered side (to prevent the package from rotating down to the street).

All 6 levels of skids cantilevered out of the truck and sitting on temp support.

All 6 levels of skids cantilevered out of the truck and sitting on temp support.

Then while I was securing the package with the telehandler, the driver pulled the van forward so that only the last foot or so was in the van.  This then allowed access from the side and a few minutes later, the whole package was sitting on the street and the transporter was driving away and preparing for his return trip to Quebec.

The ‘easy’ part was done.  Now I had to get them tucked away into the resting place until I needed them.  This was made more complicated by the location of the telephone and cable lines running along the street and the ICF skids still flanking the street and under the lines.  I recruited my neighbour at this point as it was getting dark and I need to get these in and secure by the end of the day.  I lifted off the top 3 skids of the shorter truss packs and placed on the lawn of an empty house across the street.  I then attacked the bottom three 22ft skids.  We got straps around them and I used a spreader jig I had nailed up yesterday.  This kept the straps at least 8 ft apart to appropriately spread the lifting force.  I then came at the pack from the end using the reach of the telehandler.  This allowed the skids to be rotated so they were lengthwise parallel with the direction of travel.

The telehandler had an amazing reach and thanks to a flat tire on the one I ordered, they sent me a larger size, so even at full extension, this machine could lift 6000 lbs!

The telehandler had an amazing reach and thanks to a flat tire on the one I ordered, they sent me a larger size, so even at full extension, this machine could lift 6000 lbs!

A little manoeuvring and a full extension of the boom allowed the package to be inserted 22ft between the ICF skids and the long lumber rack we build this weekend.  They hung up on some of the legs used to raise the pallets of the ground (that the truss packs were going to sit on), but a saws-all made short work of the obstructions.  30 minutes later and the shorter three skids were lifted into position and the whole pile was covered in plastic just before the rain started.

Last lift almost in place.

Last lift almost in place.

The trusses look OK.  Three of the skids do not have the protective wrap on them, but there is no indication that they have gotten wet.  Several of the straps on the various skids were snapped, but all skids were at least partially strapped.  So it looks like they have arrived safe and sound.  I of course will not know for sure until the trusses are removed and placed into the floor assemblies.

So while it was a taxing day, it was also very successful and I am relieved that the two shipments from the east are now both here safe and sound, and I will not longer be paying $75 a week for storage of the trusses.

I will plan for light duty tomorrow and take the weekend off.  I will not start on the footing form installation until next Monday.

Thanks for visiting.

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