The art of bricklaying can be found in every city across America. From homes to large buildings, bricklayers have made a difference to almost every skyline. The key to building such art is the teamwork that comes from the Bricklayers and their Hod Carriers.

Hod Carriers work alongside Brickmasons, Bricklayers, and Stonemasons where they carried bricks, stones, mortar, and other construction materials necessary for each project. These essential teammates make the job easier for each person they assist. Hod Carriers, or sometimes referred to as “Hoddies”, typically work with two Bricklayers at a time and have been known to carry anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 bricks a day!

Hoddies were named for the masonry-specific tool that they carried the materials in called a hod. A hod is a three-sided box with a long pole that allows the carrier to rest the load on their shoulder and make bearing the weight easier. The look and style of a hod allowed the carrier to put the bricks in a chevron fashion, which means the number of bricks that were carried in a load depends on how much weight the individual person was able to hold. Which is just another way to “go out and do your best”, the tenth commandment for success created and given by the most famous laborer from the UK, Max Quarterman, aka Superhod.

Max Quarterman started working as a Hoddie at the age of 15 in 1956, driven by dreams of owning his own house. When he first began work, he realized that he couldn’t even lift the smallest of hods. After practicing on his own outside of work, he was finally able to lift his hod and actually ended up buying the largest one that he could, 16x16inches, to which he had a friend modify it to be even larger. This modified hod allowed him to carry roughly 220 pounds of brick!

Being a Hod Carrier is mostly about learning the trade on the job and knowing that a lot of the work is common sense, which is something Quarterman was able to quickly surmise. Using the focus of owning his own home as his motivation, Quarterman worked hard by repeating key steps to success that he found along the way. He did not stop when it rained, he didn’t take breaks when his fellow co-workers did, he knew that the faster he did the job, the more money he would earn.. From his experience and what he learned as a persevering individual, he developed his own ten commandments that he believed to be the secret to becoming successful.

Through the use of his commandments, Superhod was able to focus and worked hard for all that he got in life. He had his eyes on owning his own house, he bought it. He had his eyes on a new Rolls-Royce, after two years of saving and hard work, he bought it. He saw an opportunity to get into property development, and he succeeded in it. When the housing market crashed in the UK during the early 1990s, he shifted gears to developing starter homes to which Max referred to having “sold like hot cakes.” By 2014, Max retired with his wife in Slough, UK living in a mansion and on top of an estimated net worth of roughly 8 million pounds which translates to roughly 9.5 million US dollars.

“If you want something, you have to earn it. But it won’t fall into your lap from the sky – you have to start at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up.” – Max Quarterman

Superhod, Max Quarterman made history by working hard and focusing on his goals. Just as the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 is looking for a Bricklayer to focus on their goals of becoming the next Supermason in 2021 to at the World of Concrete. During this competition, the Hoddies are replaced by Mason Tenders. Mason Tenders are the on-site assistant to Bricklayers that maintain tools, and transport materials just as the Hod Carriers did but without the hod and with help from modern technology. While the Hod Carrier is still an available position, the world of masonry has shifted more toward new technology that allows for a safer position as a Mason Tender. The masonry craft is one that embraced innovation and technology to increase safety and remain the most cost competitive form of construction. Which still makes it one of the best career choices for those that enjoys taking a hands-on approach to their work. To learn more about the benefits of joining such a rewarding industry, check out the Top 10 Reasons to Join the Masonry Team video on the SPEC MIX Homepage.