Best Practices for I-Joist, LVL, and LSL Handling and Storage

EWP Training Series: Module E

This presentation covers best practices in the storage and handling of I-joists, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and laminated strand lumber (LSL) in distribution yards and on the jobsite. The module includes both good storage and handling examples as well as examples of practices to avoid. No CEUs available at this time.

No CEU credits are available, but you may obtain a certification of completion by clicking the "Get Certificate" option that will appear after viewing the entire video on this webpage. Do not navigate to YouTube if you require a certificate; downloadable certificates are unavailable on the YouTube platform.

Training objectives: Upon completing this course, students will be able to identify and describe:

  • Best practices in the handling and storage of I-joists, LVL and LSL on the jobsite and in distribution yards
Approximate length: 30 minutes.

Participant Questions and Answers

With respect to storage yards or the jobsite, if the material is under cover, such as under a lean to, do we still need to keep the material wrapped?

It doesn’t hurt to keep the material wrapped until it’s ready to be installed but rather than give guidelines on when you can and can’t remove the protective wrapping, remember the important thing is to reduce direct exposure to rain, ponding water and ground moisture wicking into the material as much as possible.

We don’t all have the big massive fork equipment like they do in distribution centers s, how far apart do forks need to be?

APA doesn’t have specific recommendations on this topic. However, the key principles are to first keep personnel safe and then keep materials safe. Also, you don’t want to be ordering and re-ordering because material was damaged at the jobsite either, as this costs time and money to all parties involved. The idea is to keep the forks as far apart as possible to reduce the risk exposure.

From an inspection stand point, how do we know if joists are too wet when there are clear signs of them being stored in the mud or they have been on the jobsite for some time?

We don’t know if the material has been sitting in the mud for 5 minutes or 5 days. It’s very hard to inspect on the jobsite to determine whether the structural integrity of the material is impaired. If there are signs of sever moisture exposure or long-term discoloration etc. contact your supplier. Let them know the material has been in water or may have been damaged. When in doubt about whether there is an issue you probably want to consider getting new material.

What is the longest I-joist that can be specified?

Typically uncut lengths come from the mills at around 60ft, however one of the benefits of using EWP systems is the ability to cut lengths specifically to order, for each specific jobsite, to reduce waste and increase speed of installation. You should check with your manufacturer on available lengths.