Saving by Using Manufactured Components

Using structural building components can save 25 percent of your total wood usage, as well as reduce your on-site waste by 75 percent. So how is this savings achieved at the truss plant? What happens to all the waste created by production?

''Environmentally-friendly'' has been a hot topic for many years now, and Reliable Truss and Components is proud to tell you that zero wood waste from our truss production goes to landfills.

Custom Roof Truss

Truss Design

Our design staff strives to optimize every truss to use the least amount of lumber possible. This not only reduces lumber usage but also reduces truss costs and in turn saves our customers money. In 2017, we invested in a state of the art linear saw, and the cutting algorithms that come with this new apparatus allows for the maximum inches of a given length of material to always be used. On every given 16’ 2x_ that is pulled for cutting, less than 6” will drop to waste.

Wood Sawing


Reliable Truss and Components stocks lumber in 2' gradations in most of the lumber grades we carry. This means that we stock 2x4 in 8', 10', 12', 14', etc. If we need a 12'6" piece of lumber, we cut it out of a 14' board, leaving only 18" of waste. If we only stocked 12' and 16' lengths, we would be discarding 3'6". This way we can minimize the waste of cutdowns to about only 10 percent.


(Will update this section to feature new saw in June 2017)

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Waste Recovery

Blocks, vented or solid, are commonly 22-7/16" and 14-7/16" in length. We have a special saw to recover these lengths from our discarded scraps.

Pieces of 2x_ shorter than 14-7/16" but longer than 9" or otherwise unsuitable for cutting into blocks are sold to a spliner, someone who fingerjoints short pieces back to stud length. While these fingerjointed studs can’t be used in our engineered wood trusses, they are used for wall construction, where they help earn points for various green building programs such as LEED.

Used metal straps sent to salvager

Other Conservation Methods

• Any damaged plates or other discarded metal is recovered by a local steel salvager.

• We recycle all lumber wraps, the white coverings on lumber lifts, which become used in products such as manufactured composite decking.

• We break up leftover wood pallets to burn for fuel and give away the ones that we can't use for local homeowners to take for free to burn in their fireplaces.

• We service our own trucks and forklifts, so we know that all of the discarded oil, old parts, batteries, and so on are recycled.

Energy heels

Energy Conservation by Design

Trusses allow for simplified construction with lower waste, but they have other advantages as well. Roof trusses can be designed with raised heel heights, often called "energy heels," to allow for more insulation at the roof edge. Rather than pinching your insulation down to 4" at the wall, a simple 12” over-wall-height detail will allow you to place R-38 insulation or better over the top of the wall.

Energy Heel Details (PDF)

If you haven't read about it already, please see our Green page for information about the environmental advantages of engineered roof and floor trusses.

Green Building Materials