I have a decent sized hip truss package coming. It's about a 60' wide by 30' deep building with 2' overhangs. Hip style with 4/12 slope.

I have only helped before in setting trusses but never doing them where I am in control. I was wondering which one to set up first, especially since we will do them by hand. If we had a lift or crane, I'd just work my way from one side to another but since we set them by hand our only lift is a machine to lift to the edge of the wall and then we have to drag them to position.

Knowing this, should we start with the middle most truss and work to the edge? Or should we still start with the double girder/header/bridge truss that starts about 8' back from the end, and has all the small jacks tie into it?


You'll receive diagrams showing critical points to hit, such as the first full-depth truss from one end.

Modern hip truss sets typically have a view different types of trusses, depending on size and the existence of jogs in the building outline. From one end to the center:

  • Shorty trusses that abut the first full-width truss and create the end overhangs. These will be Y-shaped or triangular and most fasten to what's essentially a girder. There may be some that taper down at the front and back and fasten to the last common shorty, or there may just be one hip/ridge shorty. They're on the far right in the image below. Pay attention to fastening requirements for these. Building hardware may be specified.
  • Stepped common trusses that work up to the ridge. These may require the overlay of either a special truss assembly or flat hand-cut lumber into a recess along the top, forming the support for the roof sheathing and the ridge.
  • Common trusses in a conventional A shape. These are on the far left in the image below.

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We normally work from the first full-depth truss (the girder for the shorties) and go right across the building. This allows you to either boom or walk each truss into position without obstruction. You should do what makes sense for your jobsite and crew capability. If you don't have two people comfortable walking walls, you may need to slide them up in the middle of the building.

It's a bit of an art to get those overlay systems on plane. Look things over from the ground regularly and adjust the stepped trusses as needed. Seek to get straight ridges, which are one of the most conspicuous aspects of a roof.

Add a diagram to your post for more specific advice.

  • Thanks! That all valuable information. Looks similar. Has the shorties or jacks as I call them attaching to the double girder. Any tips for two people who don't want to walk the walls? Besides the obvious of getting a lift, which we tried but it broke down before getting to the site so due to bad luck, we will be doing it by hand. Read the info from the truss company, they give pointers for where to lift trusses from but not any real world experience. It also talks about bracing any span over 20 foot with diangles but it was generic info on all trusses and I wonder if that's for gable trusses. – Shumardii Oct 16 '19 at 13:08
  • Well, someone has to be in the roof setting a bracing run, so you'll have to overcome that fear somehow. You'll be standing on the bottom chords nailing on 2x4 with 24" layout marked, as high up the slop as you can reach. You also have to tilt them up, which can be done from floor level with a push bar in a Y configuration. Again, it depends on jobsite conditions as much as anything. Good luck. – isherwood Oct 16 '19 at 13:19

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