The overall height of a truss is a function of four variables: span, pitch, heel, and type of truss. The greater the span, pitch, and heel, the taller the truss will be. The truss type dictates where any pitch breaks occur, changing the direction of the top chord. Truss height is measured vertically between the uppermost point of the peak and the bearing. The truss height impacts overall building height, which is the sum of the truss height with sheathing, wall heights, and floor containers below. In a common truss, the peak will be located in the center of the truss. In a mono truss, the peak will be at one end of the truss. To better understand the wide variety of truss types, please refer to this truss configurations resource.
Manufacturing capabilities for individual component manufacturing facilities dictate the maximum overall height that can be manufactured at that location. In instances where design requirements require an overall truss height greater than manufacturing or delivery capabilities, a multi-piece or piggy back truss can be used where the truss is split into two different trusses stacked on top of each other during installation with special bracing considerations.
Overall height should not be confused with shipping height. Shipping heights take into account any overhang that may extend below the truss bearing. Shipping height is important when determining how trusses will fit on a trailer during the delivery process and if and when over width considerations should be taken. Typically, both overall height and shipping height should be called out on the individual Truss Design Drawings (TDDs). For more information on how to read TDDs visit: