Beam Bearing Information/Graphic

It would be great to have beam bearing information setup like FORTE has and have the graphic change based on selection. Really makes bearing and span lengths clear.

Hey @Nickv123 great note - some questions for you:

  1. do you design for bearing every single time or only in some conditions?
    2.How often are you changing the default values?
  2. For your request here are you looking more for the extra bearing options they’re showing or just a better graphical representation on the diagram?

We’ve got the basic bearing length checks in the support table already but one thing that’s held us back going whole hog on this is overwhelming users with extra tables and inputs as we need to balance usability with power so it’s really handy to know the above to plug into our thinking.

Bonus question for you too - are you doing connection design out of this and if so how?

  1. Some conditions. I like to be as accurate as possible when modeling existing conditions. Whether its a wood plate on cmu pilaster or undersized column cap. I change the default values depending on what I am actually bearing on. If its a 5.25" wood post then I put that.
  1. I would say both. Sometimes its nice to just put in the clear span and let it calculate the total length based on bearing. Which makes it easy when you want to change conditions to a larger bearing area, then it automatically increases overall length of beam.

Clearcalcs i believe models the distance btw supports as center to center, correct? Most times in the field doing measurements, its easier to just dimension to the face and input bearing condition.

I think the way its shown in forte is great when someone is reviewing your calculations and they understand that there are different bearing conditions. Or even going back to your existing calculations after a month or 2 and understanding your calculations easier if something needs to be modified, such as a point load on a certain side.

Bonus: Yes, If I have a flush beam condition and I am designing the joist, FORTE will give me the required Simpson hangar in the report to support loading. This is due to inputting the bearing condition in the format as shown above. Its a great feature having it built in already.

1 Like

Thanks Nick, super clear. We’ve got some work lined up to improve the graphics overall to make some of these assumptions clearer too including the center to center assumption. The team are doing some planning right now feature wise and we’ve got CMU a bit higher in the request list at the moment so this likely won’t be immediate, but we’ll be sure to loop in when we start tackling this. My instinct with it is to have the additional bearing checks be an optional extra/toggle rather than something forced so we can balance user needs

1 Like

Regarding bearing, one of my biggest concerns with any calculations is my audience. The more information we try to put in our calculations, the more we have to be careful that we add accurate information without contradiction and with clarity.

For example, I size a lot of beams for decks. It used to be okay to just recommend a triple 2x10, or whatever with a 5ft span and be done with it. Now, when I submit a more detailed calculation package, I have to be explicit in stating whether that is clear span or center to center span, and I have to be careful to display the proper bearing lengths, among other things. 3" is my program default, but I have to change that to 5.5" because I don’t need some ignorant reviewer to ask if it is okay to have 5.5" when the output says 3". These things can and do happen.

On a related note, I made this comment previously, but it would be great to be able to use inches instead of feet, or even feet and inches combined. Rounding odd fractions of an inch is just messy.

And on yet another related note, it would also be beneficial if ClearCalcs used the same dimensioning standards (clear span v. center-to-center span) that the IRC, AWC and other similar documents use for wood construction.