Did Atlas Really Wear A Truss?
Evergreen Truss Reaches Far Beyond Deer Park As A Regional Leader In Custom Designed Truss Products
I don’t think we will ever know the answer to that question. On the other hand, if your home was built in our area in the past 25 years, there is a good possibility your house wears a bunch of trusses constructed by Evergreen Truss & Supply Company (Evergreen Truss) in Deer Park.
The current owners purchased a small truss company in Deer Park about 25 years ago and gradually built the company up, growing and sometimes shrinking as the economy expanded and contracted. Generally the trend has been upward, with major expansion occurring in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The extended recession of the past several years has been tough on everyone, but especially on the building industry. Evergreen Truss is weathering the storm even though it had to batten down a few hatches.
Evergreen Truss has provided trusses for projects as far away as California, Montana, and even Canada. Wenatchee and Idaho are frequent destinations as well. So, while it is primarily a local company, it is also a regional enterprise serving The Inland Empire.
The largest trusses they have made so far adorn an arena in Rosalia. They spanned 95 feet! It took special road permits, special vehicles and three days to move them from Deer Park to Rosalia. Good thing it wasn’t Apple Cup Weekend!
Speaking of special, Evergreen Truss was proud to participate recently in a very unique building project. Condron Homes’ American Made Model Home was completely built with American made materials, and Evergreen Truss provided the trusses. Inspired by the ABC Network News’ series on products “Made in America,” the model home opened a few weeks ago in Eagle Ridge on Highway 195 south of Spokane. Check out Condron Homes’ website to learn more about this unique project. (http://www.condronhomes.com/americanmade.php).
Just what are trusses? Unlike Atlas’ medical device, Evergreen Truss designs and manufactures support systems for buildings. Thefreedictionary.com defines a truss as “A rigid framework, as of wooden beams or metal bars, designed to support a structure, such as a roof.”
Sounds simple. Just nail a few long boards together and get ‘er done! However, it is far more complicated than that. Each truss is designed to the architect’s dreams. If he can envision it, pretty much, the experts can build it. To build it means to build it strong enough to support the stress that will be put on it. Historically, design work was done with a slide rule. A basic truss requires more than 200 stress calculations. That takes a fast, competent worker about half an hour with a slide rule—or 18 trusses in a day. There are 30-40 different truss designs in the typical home, so it is easy to see why slide rules alone no longer work.
In today’s world, there are multiple factors necessary for the design of a great truss: A very powerful computer, a great program (Thanks MiTek, Inc.), and people who are smart enough to make the first two work together to realize the architect’s dream. In the end, however, regulations and standards control design. First, all must be done in accordance with the Uniform Building Code. This is enforced by local governments. Then, there are industry standards. The Wood Truss Council of America (WTCA) and the Truss Plate Institute (TPI) set very stringent guidelines for truss construction that meet or exceed UBC standards. Evergreen Truss prides itself on their strict adherence to the standards and quality control requirements set by these organizations.
Evergreen Truss uses kiln dried fir-larch, hem-fir and spruce, pine and fir mixes (SPF). Fir-larch is a stronger wood than the hem-fir and SPF. The kiln drying insures the lumber is fully dried and will not be as likely to warp and move in our dry climate. When you invest in a project as spendy as your home or a commercial building, you want the best!
Part of getting the best is getting it from a company that consistently turns out great product day after day and year after year. Consistency in operation comes in part from consistency in personnel. One of the stunning facts about Evergreen Truss is how long many of the employees have been there. For many, this is measured in decades. The long tenure of much of the staff makes for better teamwork. Walking through the factory, that is what I saw. Not a bunch of individuals doing their own thing, but rather, a well-oiled team working together to build a quality product.
Just who are some of the folks in the company? Chris Oster, a graduate of Central High, is responsible primarily for residential truss systems and has played a part in many of the most complex designs in the area. Bob Reaske is one of the outside salesmen. Randy Atwood has been with the company for a number of years and brought decades of experience in the building supply industry with him when he joined the company. Dan Murphy started at Evergreen Truss at age 16 working part-time and has been here ever since. He has worked in the production section and has recently moved into outside sales.
Some of the other folks you might meet are: Allen “Dean” Morse, the General Manger; Gerry, the senior driver, so the onsite guys at the building areas have chatted with him, and Mike, an integral part of the operation who is the accounts manager.
Consistency and team work. That is what you see in the workers and the products. Give them a call if you are thinking about building a home. Talk with the experts and find out what is best for you. Check out their fun and informative website for more information on the company, its people and its products.