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Re: soils pressure

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Joe:

That is splitting hairs unless several are 1/4" or more short.  at lengths over 6-8" the axial capacity may reduce by 50-70% due to the size of the top chord only. I would use the full member size. In combined loading you use the full span of the member. The bottom of the joist are not braced and under axial load it may be a long column as we use to call it and combined with bending may not give the capacity you are looking for.

Joe Venuti
Johnson & Nielsen Associates
Palm Springs,  CA