How do I Choose the Best Truss Software?

K.G. Spangler

The best truss software is one that handles all the needs of the business. Depending on a business's needs, the best truss software could perform everything from project bidding and quotes to office management and the production of client specification sheets for fabrication. Its goal is to streamline the bid, design, and fabrication process so design firms can maximize their production hours. Job costing functions, including materials, labor, and overhead, could help a design firm identify the most lucrative and most labor intensive projects. Truss software should be as inclusive or exclusive as a firm's demands dictate.

The best truss software should work with standard industry software to reduce the learning curve.
The best truss software should work with standard industry software to reduce the learning curve.

Depending on the material being used, there is software available for the design of both wood and cold-formed steel trusses. Truss software also exists that can transfer wooden truss designs to cold-formed steel with seamless conversion. The best truss software should allow for design variables, two-dimensional and three-dimensional views, easy editing, basic truss designs, and loading capabilities.

Ease of use is of primary concern when selecting the best truss software. Due to the various types of software available, the average company will bring multiple users with varying degrees of computer savvy. Truss software needs to be user-friendly and easy to learn. If it is replacing an existing system, purchasing software that can be easily integrated may save both time and money. Software that can be customized as business demands change can be extraordinarily useful.

Price is also a key factor when selecting the best truss design software. The cost of the software is directly related to its functions, the material being used, and its capacity for updating. Software engineered to focus solely on truss design may cost more because it is highly customized. Alternately, software developed to design trusses, estimate jobs, and invoice clients may cost less even though it performs multiple functions.

No matter which types of truss software are selected, speed is of primary importance from a design standpoint. The components of the software must perform accurately and efficiently. If a company selects multi-faceted truss design software, estimating, invoicing, and customer tracking should be performed as proficiently as roof and floor truss design. Truss software that mitigates delays is considered an industry jewel.

The best truss software should work with standard industry software to reduce the learning curve. It should integrate with basic engineering software which produces estimating and job cost sheets, inventory, and accounting functions. Some truss software allows for integration between design and fabrication for seamless production and efficient truss tracking.

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