Why Using a Catalog to Specify Truss Hangers is Wrong and How to Correct

Why Using a Catalog to Specify Truss Hangers is Wrong and How to Correct

 This article will guide you on how to use the MiTek software and effectively apply loads using the hanger module feature in MiTek. In doing so, this will allow you to calculate hangers correctly each and every time.

Sometimes, as component designers, when we specify a hanger from a catalog or a web page, we miss some critical factors in the actual application of the condition such as:

  • Lumber size required
  • Nail quantity required to support load
  • Nail penetration
  • Number of plies required to adequately carry the load
  • Location of truss connector plates in relation to the hanger placement

This can be a giant problem down the road. If the support is not ample, trusses could come down, someone could get hurt…or worse. The engineers rely on the truss company 9 times out of 10 to accurately specify these connections and very few ever question them. This is a very dangerous but true fact.

Ask yourself this question: “Has my company’s manager or supervisor ever taken the time to educate me on the proper way to specify a connector?” If you are not using a “connector selector” type program to specify hangers or are not using the truss software to do the same, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

With these 5 factors mentioned above taken into consideration, the MiTek program does an excellent job of calling out the proper hanger. Here is how to specify hangers properly in MiTek and ensure that everyone stays safe and protected.

Run your trusses from layout and allow MiTek to apply loads by ensuring the design connection and synchronization remains intact. For those trusses that a hanger is not called out, apply the following steps:

  • Go to special loads
  • Right click on a load not getting a hanger to “modify load”
  • Hit ok to next box
  • Just click your cursor into the lbs box. No need to change anything
  • Hit modify


  • Hit finish in this box


  • Now hit close
  • Analyze-redesign the truss
  • You should now get a hanger or at least “special” for that load


  • Repeat steps for all loads that do not have hangers

As a designer, do yourself a favor and throw your hanger catalog in the garbage. Get with the times; use the tools and SPECIFY HANGERS THE RIGHT WAY.

Christopher Gould – President

Gould Design, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Why Using a Catalog to Specify Truss Hangers is Wrong and How to Correct

  1. What You mean when you say that hangers aré not called out¿? Is it When you analize some girder truss and trusses coming trough it doesn’t overpass the load for a hanger¿? And it’s a Ledger? Let’s say that i have a canadien córner to 6ft, the program calls for hanger to the 6ft span monopitches even when the load is not that much… i need to modify the loads to the girder? Thats what you say? Or im wrong?