Titan Timbers vs. Nail-lam Columns

Pole Barn Guru Blog

Timber Technologies Titan Timbers vs. Littfin Truss Nail-lam Columns – The battle continues

One of the exhibitors at the 2014 NFBA Expo was Timber Technologies, LLC of Colfax, WI.

Timber TechnologiesTimber Technologies is a full-line glulam manufacturer of Titan Timber columns and beams for post-frame buildings. Their Titan Timbers are straight, strong, reliable, easy to cut, screw and notch because of the glue laminating and finger jointing process. Multiple plys and lengths are engineered or designed for specifications with higher design values than solid or nailed columns. Titan Timber columns are .60 CCA pressure preservative treated in the region which is in contact with the ground.

To find out more about Timber Technologies and their products, they can be visited on their website at: https://www.timber-technologies.com/ or follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TimberTechnologiesLLC

The loyal readers of this column may be familiar with the ongoing discussions between myself and Bob Mochinski, Sales Manager of Littfin Truss Company of Winsted, MN in regards to the strength values of glu-laminated and nail-laminated columns. Littfin Lumber Company started in 1962 and began as a supplier of building materials to local contractors and the general public. Their website can be visited at: https://www.littfintruss.com/ or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Littfin-Lumber-Co/157090240997823

For those who want to know more about Jack Littfin (one of the pioneers of the Wood Truss Council of America – WTCA), I found this article of interest:

https://sbcmag.info/article/2012/old-mid-west-heart-littfin-celebrate-50-years-business

Yes, I know, lots of background here, but I want readers to be able to form their own opinions of the columns produced by both Timber Technologies and Littfin Truss.

The discussions referenced can be viewed in the comments section of a prior article written by me: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2013/08/nail-laminated-posts/#comment-52247

Besides manufacturing their own nail-laminated columns Littfin Truss also happens to be a reseller of Timber Technologies Titan Timbers, so things start to become very intertwined.

Both of the owners of Timber Technologies, Tom Niska and Dale Schiferl, were at the NFBA Expo and shared with me their latest “toy” which should put to rest the arguments. I would encourage readers to sit back, grab some popcorn and view this entertaining video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91nUG_n4Hwk

Dale had emailed Hansen Pole Buildings with the link to the video, and here is an excerpt from it:

“Because you are a quality supplier and care about the quality of products you sell, we felt you needed to see the truth behind some of the rhetoric our competitors are putting out there.  

There are certain nail lam manufacturers that may be telling you and your customers that their product is stronger.  The basis for this claim is they do not plane the column after nail laminating it, therefore leaving more section equates to a stronger final product.  I was always told nail lams were difficult to plane because when a nail is shot into the cross sections of the lumber, it hits a knot and diverts through the laminations leaving it exposed.   These exposed nails are not planer friendly. 

After hearing this many times over the years, Tom and I realized this claim could be put to a test.  As you will see in the video, Timber Technologies has a piece of testing equipment used to determine certain design values of our final product.  This testing frame was used in an I joist manufacturing plant for the purpose of determining their design values, and we realized it would work nicely for this head to head strength demonstration.    We have always believed at Timber Technologies the strength of Titan Timbers comes from using quality lumber and the laminating process.  We thought you might like to see the evidence of this with your own eyes. 

We welcome all competitors to bring their best products to our testing facility; we welcome the opportunity to show our strength.  They don’t even need to bring a video camera, we will have ours set up and ready to roll.   We are also looking into more demonstrations against butt jointed and gang plated nail lams.   We will send out email links as these videos become available on YouTube.”  

The gauntlet has been thrown down, it will be interesting to see if there are any takers!

One thought on “Titan Timbers vs. Nail-lam Columns

  1. Bob Mochinski

    As a distributor of Titan timbers, we don’t view ourselves in battle with them so I’d question the validity of your opening statement. Also, I wasn’t aware that our product had been tested by them as that is not stated in the video.

    For your readers that are truly interested in formulating an educated and unbiased opinione, I’d recommend they go to the following websites rather than using any manufacturers (including ours!) marketing information as a basis for that opinion.

    Below is Dr. David Bohnhoff’s website, which is temporarily being redesigned. He is one of the foremost authorities on this subject and his website is a wealth of information. His research and testing is the basis for ASABE 559

    https://bse.wisc.edu/Bohnhoff/

    Below are a number of his publications on the Forest Products Laboratory website that provide the science and testing of laminated columns in addition to other aspects of post frame design.

    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/search/search_action.php?phrasesAndKeywords=bohnhoff&searchmode=fullsite&sortgroup=significance&relatedinformation=no&pubyearstart=1914&pubyearend=2014

    Regardless of who manufactures a column, the design values for that product are the result of a Code Approved Standard such as NDS/ASABE 559 or a proprietary code approval from a third party testing agency such as ICC-ES Evaluation Services.

    To the best of my knowledge, there are no columns in our market area that have and NER or ESR on them. Titan Timber’s literature refers to NDS for their design values. I’m not aware of any Registered Design Professional that would accept the purported design values that any manufacturer claims to have from their own internal testing, in the design of their structures.

    Ultimately, the consumer of all products is best served by an objective and unbiased third party approval of design values.

    Reply

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