# Seems like this should be an easy problem, but I just can't get it...

• Apr 17th 2012, 07:58 PM
caperjay
Seems like this should be an easy problem, but I just can't get it...
Here is the problem:

A wooden A frame is to be used to remove an air compressor from a truck bed. The top of the A frame must be 4 m from the ground, and the legs are to be 3 m apart at the bottom. What is the length of timbers necessary for the A frame legs?

So I can find the area of the triangle easy enough with bxh/2. But I can't figure out what the lengths are on each side since no angles are given. I know its an isosceles triangle so the two sides must be the same, but how can I calculate the lengths of the sides without angles? If someone could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.
• Apr 17th 2012, 11:15 PM
earboth
Re: Seems like this should be an easy problem, but I just can't get it...
Quote:

Originally Posted by caperjay
Here is the problem:

A wooden A frame is to be used to remove an air compressor from a truck bed. The top of the A frame must be 4 m from the ground, and the legs are to be 3 m apart at the bottom. What is the length of timbers necessary for the A frame legs?

So I can find the area of the triangle easy enough with bxh/2. But I can't figure out what the lengths are on each side since no angles are given. I know its an isosceles triangle so the two sides must be the same, but how can I calculate the lengths of the sides without angles? If someone could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.

Actually you are dealing with an isosceles triangle which can be split into two right triangles.

Use Pythagorean theorem to determine the length of the two legs.