Project Highlight - Republic Square, Austin, Texas

A few months back, Spec Rents was called in to provide equipment to Camarata Masonry Systems (CMS) for the Republic Square project in downtown Austin, Texas. Using the Hydro Mobile M2 Mast Climber units with a monorail system allows CMS to set very large GFRC panels thanks to the large capacity and versatility that these units provide.  Additionally, the M2 mast climbers can fit into the tight space in the back alleyway by removing the bases and using mast base plates to maintain access for traffic.  See below for some photos of the project’s progress, using Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers.

Spec Rents is proud to be part of this beautiful masonry project with the wonderful CMS team. You can check out other Spec Rents projects on our Projects Page.  Learn more about the amazing work of Camarata Masonry Systems at

Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas
Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers Republic Square Austin Texas

Spec Rents is the proud distributor of Hydro Mobile for Texas. Although we are technically an equipment company, we’re not just in business to sell and rent equipment. We provide our customers with equipment solutions that provide safety and increased productivity. Let us know if we can help you achieve your company’s goals.

Post by:  Elizabeth "Liz" Graves, Sales Manager at Spec Rents, LLC.  Contact Liz at

Bring back the Pride: 12 Ways to Bring Pride Back into Masonry

I hear it every day.  “We can’t find good masons.”  Or “There’s not enough labor out there.” The problem is two-fold, in my opinion.

  1. We can’t find people who want to work in masonry.

  2. We aren’t training enough people to fill the gap of those who are starting to retire.

 I’m the proud daughter of a masonry contractor.  My dad called himself an “artistic manipulator of the burnt clay product.” He started as a laborer for a company, went through an apprenticeship, was a mason, became a foreman, moved into estimating…. All with the same company.  When that company started to slow down, he and my mom started their own company.  He had pride in what he did. And I’m proud of the work he has done over the years and the work our company helps masons to do now.

I think this is something we are really missing out on.  We need to bring back the pride

What masons do is nothing less than an art.  Think about being an electrician or a plumber or a framer.  Sure, they’re also proud professions that are absolutely necessary. But what masons do is beautiful and lasting.  It’s something you can be proud of for generations to come.

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How can you help bring back the pride to masonry?

Here’s a 12 ideas to get you started.

  1. Make a big deal out of the projects your crews are on.  Tell them about it.  They like to know details like how many brick are on it, what it will be, etc.  Some companies have hats or shirts made for really big projects to give to their guys.  Something small like that can go a long way.  You’ll find the guys are proud to be a part of something like this.

  2. Take part in masonry competitions throughout the country.  These are a chance for the best masons to show just how great they are.  These guys (and hopefully one day gals) are beasts- the amount of brick they can lay is nothing short of amazing.  Encouraging and supporting your guys to train and then participate in these can be a great way to show that this is a great trade to be in. Check out the 2019 SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500® to learn more.

  3. We build cool stuff but some of them may not ever get to see the finished project.  Consider doing a company newsletter, whether paper or digitally.  Or maybe do a Facebook page where you can share pictures and they can too.  The younger generations live on this kind of stuff.  Keeping your website up to date is important too.

  4. Make new hires feel welcome by introducing them to the team they’re working with.  Your crew should be a team.  This means they know and help each other out.  They watch out for the new guy and help them, showing them the ins and outs of both the company and project they’re starting on. You’ll find their productivity will go up substantially if you’ll do this.  And, really, how hard would it be to introduce them at your weekly toolbox talk and pair them up with someone?  This will give your current employees something to be proud of doing as well.

  5. Train new hires appropriately on what expectations are, what benefits they have access to, and, most importantly, safety.  It takes time to do this, but you’ll save a lot of headaches by doing so and they’ll know your company culture and be better acclimated to it this way.  Spending time to do so shows you care about them as individuals.  Happy employees = productive employees most of the time.

  6. Have a company party yearly.  This doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it’s a way for everyone to get together and see each other.  Maybe do a slide show so their family can see the projects they’ve been on over the past year.  Think of how proud your kids are when they show you all of the projects they’ve worked on for open house at school.  It’s the same concept.

  7. Advance from within your company when you can.  Provide a career path that they can easily see.  Some of the best superintendents, project managers, and estimators were labors and masons first.  People want to be proud to grow up and advance within a company. 

  8. Recruit from high schools by creating relationships with counselors.  We know that everyone isn’t going to college and doesn’t need to.  Providing information on a career path in masonry and showing off the awesome projects they could work on, can help with recruiting. Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Join the Masonry Team booklet by MCAA. It’s available to MCAA members for free so be sure to order yourself some for your next recruiting efforts.

  9. Communicate effectively- they want to know what’s in the pipeline and where they may be going next.  Daily meetings may be time-consuming but a quick 5-10 meeting to tell the crew what their goals are might make the difference between them making production or not. Also, get some excitement going about upcoming work.  Also, communicate any changes effectively- ex: safety, change in address, policies, holidays, etc.

  10. Celebrate victories- whether it be 100,000 hours injury free, topping out a wall, landing a big project, receiving a new piece of equipment, or even personal victories. 

  11. Provide your crews with good equipment and products - If you keep giving them stuff that breaks down or doesn’t work well, it will not only slow your project down but they’ll also realize it’s not worth taking care of.  And so the cycle continues.  Providing good equipment and then training and requiring them to maintain it well is a way to instill pride (and responsibility) in some of the younger generations.

  12. Consider a yearbook- whether digital or paper- that you put pictures of all of the projects completed in the last year that you can share with your teams.  You can be sure they’ll be proud of this.

Camden Conte’ - M2 and P Series Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers

Camden Conte’ - M2 and P Series Hydro Mobile Mast Climbers

That’s a lot of ideas.  Don’t be overwhelmed. Start small.  You’re probably already doing some of these so why not just make sure everyone in the company is aware? If you’re not doing any of these, I challenge you to pick 1 or 2 that you can quickly implement for your teams.  Do your part to bring back the pride in masonry.  Whether you’re a Project Manager, a laborer, Superintendent, truck driver, or the payroll clerk, you have a lot to be proud of in your company!

Post by:  Elizabeth "Liz" Graves, Sales Manager at Spec Rents, LLC.  Contact Liz at

Masonry Madness 2018

Today's the day-

Masonry Madness 2018.


2018 Spec Mix Bricklayer 500®

The lineup includes:

  • MCAA's Masonry Skills Challege
    • Showcasing masonry apprentices from across the country
  • Spec Mix's Toughest Tender®
    • The world's toughest tenders compete to see who can set up their Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 workstation, with a chance to take home $2,500 cash and prizes.
  • MCAA's Fastest Trowel on the Block
    • Each contestant's goal is to complete as much of a 30 foot long wall as possible, using 8"x8"x16" CMU and the provided mortar in a twenty-minute heat.
  • Spec Mix Bricklayer 500®
    • Each team consists of a mason and mason tender building a 26 foot 8 inch, double wythe brick wall. The most bricks laid in one hour and counted under the quality rules wins the event, winning over $100,0
    • You can watch the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500® World Championship through the 2018 Live Webcast if you aren't lucky enough to be watching it in person at the World of Masonry in Las Vegas today.

Hydro Mobile is one of the many proud sponsors of the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500®.

Check out those beautiful brand new Hydro Mobile M2s.... not to mention the shiny red Ford!

Check out those beautiful brand new Hydro Mobile M2s.... not to mention the shiny red Ford!


From Texas we have two representatives in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500®

North Texas:  Mason – Mario Landeros - 554 Brick, Tender – Cristobal Anguiana, from Artisan Masonry – Royce City, TX

South Texas:  Mason - David Chavez - 691 Brick, Tender - Miguel Contreras, from Ranch Masonry, Houston, Texas.

Good Luck to all of today's contestants.  And to all of the spectators, enjoy a great display of the art of Masonry!!!

Post by:  Elizabeth "Liz" Graves, Sales Manager at Spec Rents, LLC.  Contact Liz at


Going Up- Christus Spohn- Corpus Christi Shoreline Tower

Shadrock and Williams Masonry, Ltd. is currently completing the masonry on the new Christus Spohn- Corpus Christi Shoreline Tower.  The combination of their expertise in complex projects and quality equipment, such as the M2 and P Series Hydro Mobile, are helping to make this project a success.


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Spec Rents is proud to partner with Shadrock and Williams on this project to make it a safe and productive one.  Thanks to Mark Beers, at Shadrock and Williams, for allowing us to share these photos.

Post by:  Elizabeth "Liz" Graves, Sales Manager at Spec Rents, LLC.  Contact Liz at