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Re: Lumb-R-Grip Hanger Hooks

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H. Daryl Richardson responded: Please see my reply following

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Dennis,

        There are a great number of fasteners like screwed hooks, or , =
for that matter even nails, screws and bolts which can easily attach =
more load to a joist than the joist can support.  I don't think it's =
realistic to hold the manufacturer accountable for abuses resulting from =
the end use of his device.

        At the same time I do not agree fully with Jordan that the =
manufacturers have no responsibility for the strength of their =
connectors.  If a manufacturer is going to state that his device can =
support 200 pounds (s)he had better be very sure that it actually can =
support 200 pounds.

        On the other hand, if you actually see someone adding excessive =
loading to a floor joist regardless of the type of fasteners they are =
using you probably would be smart to c.y.a. and tell them so in writing.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

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Daryl,
Sorry - I get my list mail in digest format and it is difficult to reply so I simply cut and paste.
It isn't that the homeowner can't or even not inclined to abuse the structural system of the home - most of this is covered in the factors of safety and the methods in which we design. What bothers me is when the means are created to make it easier and supposedly more "legitimate" to abuse the rafter/joist/trusses system by way of public advertising. I am not  attempting to complain about a product per-se, but it would be as if a drug were released on the market over-the-counter that could be abused and that the problem would not be discovered until after someone was harmed or damage occurred. There are no warnings, no disclaimers on the advertising or on any of the websites I visited. Take the average person who sees this product advertised and has been thinking of a way to get all the junk off the garage floor and since you can't store them above the the ceiling framing because it is a truss and does not provide sufficient or easy access, you can now hang them from the bot
tom chord of a manufactured truss or a rafter tie.
This is not what the truss designer intended when he supplied these trusses. They were not designed to carry load from the bottom chord unless the developer/owner/designer anticipated that this was the way to use these structural system of the home.
Even nailing to the side of a truss chord and taking the chance of cracking the truss can be done by any homeowner, but nails are not sold with a specific purpose - Lumb-R-Grip hooks are.

I don't think people pay attention to the abuses of a structure when you see them install storage areas into truss bays or above rafter ties - or use attic areas not intended to carry a storage load hold every box of books or memorable that a family has when they move into a home - the homeowner does not know and therefore creates the problem on their own. When you manufacture and market a product, you should have some review that the product is safe for the public to use. These are sold at Home Depot and Ace Hardware so the distribution is not small and while they may serve a purpose to hang a bicycle or lawn furniture, they should not be used to bundle duffel "grab-bags" that will hold anything so it can be hung and then distribute as many as you can on one joist/rafter/truss as shown in the link I provided.

If we don't speak up about it (I've placed a review on both DIY and Amazon but don't know if they will publish them), then we fail to use the engineering judgment that we are trained with. Most of you may not be involved with fixing failed structural systems - but I do. I can't tell you how many times I am called to review and repair something that someone did without thinking that turns into a nightmare. It's bad enough when a framer does a poor job and leaves a structural system like a truss roof in jeopardy, but it is someone less bad yet bad all the same when someone causes the damage in good faith - not understanding what we know.

Finally, they are intended to carry up to 200-pounds, yet from the design it is clear to most engineers that it can carry much more before the wood member fails. This is misleading, the hooks will not fail first - the wood member will. So how do you stop a well intended homeowner from guessing the weight of what is being hung and starts to add books or paper storage inside of a duffel bag until it is full. When leaving the Army, it was hard enough to swing a duffel bag over my shoulder filled with clothing - think of it filled with paper goods, old tax returns and receipts, books, paperbacks etc. Think of the creative homemaker that takes four hooks on two rafter/joists/trusses and creates a platform to create a new storage area above the floor so he can finally get his car back into the garage - all his tools, paint cans etc.

I guess I see too much damage caused by the well intended who look for cubby-holes where ever they can find them to get it's off a concrete basement floor or a garage.

Regards,
Dennis
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