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How Much Does Turnover Cost Your Masonry Company?

The construction industry faces a pervasive challenge: high employee turnover. For masonry companies, the stakes are particularly high, given the specialized skills required for the job. But what exactly does turnover cost your business, not just in monetary terms but also in productivity and team morale?

The Immediate Financial Impact of Hiring

The process of hiring a new mason involves considerable expense, averaging around $1,500 per hire. This cost encompasses advertising the position, interviewing candidates, and the administrative expenses of onboarding. Moreover, the timeline from initiating the hiring process to having a new mason fully operational can stretch from 30 to 40 days, a period during which productivity dips are inevitable.

The Hidden Costs of Employee Turnover

Training and Onboarding

Beyond the initial financial outlay, training a new team member represents a significant investment. With an average hourly rate of $25 and a 40-hour workweek, companies spend upwards of $12,000 over a 12-week training period. This figure doesn’t account for the time and resources allocated to the trainer, further inflating costs.

Loss of Productivity

The departure of an experienced mason disrupts workflow and diminishes the team’s overall productivity. New hires require time to reach the proficiency level of their predecessors, leading to delays and potential compromises in quality.

Morale and Team Dynamics

High turnover rates can erode team morale and cohesion. The constant influx of new faces challenges the establishment of strong team dynamics and can lead to a sense of instability among remaining employees.

Long-term Implications of Turnover

Quality of Work

Frequent turnover can degrade the quality of your company’s work. Experienced masons possess a level of expertise and craftsmanship that is not immediately replaceable, affecting the overall standard of projects.

Customer Satisfaction

The continuity provided by a stable team is crucial to meeting project deadlines and maintaining high-quality standards, both of which directly impact customer satisfaction.

Brand Reputation

Your workforce’s stability is a testament to your company’s reputation. High turnover rates can signal to prospective clients and employees that there may be underlying issues within your organization, potentially deterring business and talent.

The Solution: Investing in Your Workforce

To mitigate the costs associated with high turnover, investing in tools and equipment that enhance workplace safety and efficiency is crucial. For instance, the Material Unit Lift Enhancer (MULE) can significantly reduce the physical strain on workers, lowering the risk of injuries and improving job satisfaction.

Strategies for Employee Retention

Beyond physical tools, fostering a positive work environment and offering competitive benefits are key strategies for retaining talent. Encouraging feedback, providing opportunities for advancement, and recognizing employee achievements can contribute to a more loyal and engaged workforce.


The true cost of turnover in the masonry industry extends far beyond the immediate expenses of hiring and training. It encompasses lost productivity, compromised quality, and the potential erosion of company culture. By investing in your workforce’s health, safety, and satisfaction, you can not only reduce turnover but also enhance your company’s reputation and bottom line.

The True Cost of Lightweight Blocks vs. Investing in a MULE

In the construction industry, the quest for efficiency and safety often leads to the adoption of new materials and technologies. One such material is the lightweight block, which promises ease of use and potential health benefits for masons. However, when we dig deeper into the cost implications and the actual benefits, is it truly a wise investment? Let’s explore the financial and practical realities of choosing lightweight blocks over innovative solutions like the MULE.

The Hidden Costs of Lightweight Blocks

Lightweight blocks, while reducing weight from the standard 50 pounds to around 38 or 40 pounds, come at a premium. At an increased cost of $0.60 (60 cents) the financial impact over time is substantial. Assuming your masons install 250 blocks a day for 200 days a year, the additional expense can escalate to $30,000 annually. Over a span of 3 to 5 years, this figure balloons to $90,000 to $150,000 in sunk costs for a solution that only marginally reduces weight and still poses injury risks.
Those are conservative numbers; I have heard of premiums ranging as much as $3.00 per block. How much extra do you spend on lightweight block each year? Check the table below to see how much money you spend annually to make blocks only a little lighter.

Financial Analysis Over 3 to 5 Years

This long-term financial analysis starkly illustrates the inefficiency of investing in lightweight blocks. The cost savings from reduced weight do not offset the premium paid, especially when considering the potential for injury-related expenses and productivity loss.

The MULE: A Smarter Investment

Enter the MULE (Material Unit Lift Enhancer), a revolutionary technology that renders block and stone virtually weightless for construction teams. With an investment of $75,000 to $85,000, the MULE not only safeguards your team from injuries but also offers substantial cost savings and productivity gains in the long run.

How the MULE Works

The MULE is a lifting device that picks construction materials, allowing workers to maneuver heavy items with minimal effort. This technology significantly reduces the risk of workplace injuries and enhances overall efficiency on the construction site.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Investing in the MULE presents a compelling case when compared to the ongoing costs of lightweight blocks. The initial outlay is quickly recouped through reduced injury rates, lower insurance premiums, and heightened productivity, making it a financially sound decision.

Case Study: Real-World Application

A case study involving a construction firm that switched from lightweight blocks to the MULE technology reveals the tangible benefits. The firm not only saw a decrease in worker injuries but also experienced a notable increase in the number of blocks installed per day, leading to faster project completion times and increased profitability.

Safety Considerations

Risks with Lightweight Blocks
Despite their reduced weight, lightweight blocks still pose significant injury risks due to the physical strain of lifting and the potential for accidents.

Safety Advantages of the MULE

The MULE technology mitigates these risks by eliminating manual lifting, thus providing a safer working environment and contributing to the overall well-being of construction workers.
Long-Term Benefits

Economic Savings

The long-term economic savings of investing in the MULE far outweigh the costs associated with lightweight blocks. Reduced injury rates and enhanced productivity translate into substantial financial gains over time.

Did you know that the MULE is more than just a masonry tool?

When it comes to construction, efficiency, and safety are paramount. This is where the MULE steps in, a revolutionary piece of equipment known for its versatility and capability to transform how projects are completed. Traditionally associated with masonry, the MULE’s applications extend far beyond, into landscaping, retaining wall construction, and even civil construction projects.

Understanding the MULE

The MULE comes in two main variations: the MULE ML150 and the MULE MZ100, each designed to cater to different project needs. The MULE ML, known for its 150-pound lifting capacity, allows for a greater selection of blocks to be picked, thanks to its larger modular gripper. This feature enables users to pick materials of all sizes from multiple directions and grip points, demonstrating the equipment’s flexibility.

MULE in Masonry

Traditionally, the MULE has been a game-changer in masonry, reducing physical strain on workers and increasing the speed at which walls can be erected. Its precision and efficiency have made it a staple in the masonry field.

Expanding Horizons

However, the true potential of the MULE lies in its adaptability to various other construction activities. Landscaping, retaining walls, solar panel installation and civil construction are just a few areas where the MULE has proven its worth.

MULE in Landscaping

Landscapers have found the MULE particularly useful. Its ability to maneuver different types of blocks and materials around garden beds, pathways, and water features has transformed the landscaping process, making it quicker and less labor-intensive.

MULE in Retaining Walls Construction

In retaining wall projects, the MULE’s precision and lifting capacity ensure that large blocks are placed accurately and safely, streamlining the construction process and enhancing structural integrity.

MULE in Solar Construction

The use of mechanized lifting equipment, such as the ML150 equipped with specialized vacuum grippers, represents a significant advancement in solar field construction efficiency. This technology is designed to handle the repetitive lifting and precise placement of large solar panels, a task that is both labor-intensive and time-consuming when done manually. The ML150, with its vacuum gripper technology, ensures a secure grip on the panels, minimizing the risk of damage during handling and installation. Learn more about how Construction Robotics and MOOG Construction are changing the way Solar Panels are installed on construction sites.

MULE in Civil Construction

Civil construction projects also benefit from the MULE’s capabilities, especially in infrastructure development where precision and safety are crucial. The MULE’s versatility allows for its use in a variety of settings, adapting to the unique needs of each project.

Site Logistics and Layout Considerations

The effectiveness of the MULE depends on site logistics and layout. Its various configurations, including operation from a wheeled cart, the back of a trailer, or even a truck, ensure that it can adapt to the specific requirements of each site.

The MULE ML: A Closer Look

The MULE ML stands out for its 150-pound lifting capacity and its larger modular gripper, which together facilitate the handling of a wide range of materials, demonstrating its adaptability to different project needs.

Versatile Configurations

Whether it’s being pushed by hand on a wheeled cart for flat surfaces, operated from the back of a trailer, moved around with skid steerers and fork adapters, or even used from the back of a truck, the MULE’s configurations are designed to meet the demands of various projects.

Real-world Applications

These configurations are not just theoretical; they have been applied in real-world settings, demonstrating the MULE’s ability to enhance productivity and safety across different construction activities.

Benefits of Using the MULE

The primary benefits of incorporating the MULE into construction projects include significant enhancements in productivity and safety. By reducing physical strain on workers and streamlining the construction process, the MULE not only speeds up project completion times but also contributes to a safer work environment.

Getting Started with MULE

Incorporating the MULE into your next project can revolutionize your construction process. Its adaptability to different types of work, combined with its safety and efficiency benefits, makes it an invaluable asset to any construction team.

Call to Action

If you’re looking to improve productivity and safety on your next job, consider the MULE. With its wide range of applications and configurations, it’s designed to meet the diverse needs of modern construction projects. Give us a call today to learn more about how the MULE can help you.


The MULE’s versatility extends far beyond traditional masonry, offering solutions for landscaping, retaining walls, and civil construction projects. With its various configurations and ability to improve both productivity and safety, the MULE is changing the landscape of construction. Whether you’re a contractor, landscaper, or involved in civil construction, the MULE has something to offer. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your construction projects with this innovative tool.


  1. What makes the MULE different from other construction equipment? The MULE’s unique modular gripper and its ability to lift up to 150 pounds, combined with its versatility in being configured for various site layouts and projects, set it apart from traditional construction equipment.
  2. Can the MULE be used in residential construction projects? Absolutely! The MULE’s versatility makes it perfect for residential projects, especially in landscaping and constructing retaining walls.
  3. How does the MULE enhance safety on construction sites? By taking on the heavy lifting and reducing the physical strain on workers, the MULE significantly decreases the risk of injuries associated with manual labor.
  4. Is training required to operate the MULE? Yes, to ensure safety and maximize the MULE’s capabilities, operator training is recommended and can be provided.
  5. How can I get a MULE for my next project? Contact us to discuss your project needs and how the MULE can be integrated into your construction process. Our team is ready to assist you in getting started.

Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the perfect MULE for your project

Choosing the right MULE (Material Unit Lift Enhancer) for your construction or material handling job is essential to optimize efficiency, cost, and performance on-site. With the introduction of the new MZ100 model, alongside the existing ML150, it’s crucial to understand the differences and advantages of each to select the one that best suits your needs. Let’s delve into the specifications and key features of both models to aid in your decision-making process.

Let’s examine the two models by looking at their key specs:


MZ100 vs. ML150: Specifications Comparison

Machine Weight and Dimensions:

  • The MZ100 is significantly lighter and smaller, with a machine weight of 809 lbs (367 kg), making it more cost-effective to transport. Its compact design features a stowed length of 6 ft 11 in (2.10 m) and stowed width of 2 ft 4 in (0.71 m).
  • The ML150 is heavier at 1,160 lbs (526 kg), requiring more space and potentially higher transportation costs. It has a larger stowed size, with a length of 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m) and width of 3 ft 1 in (0.93 m).

Lifting Capacity and Reach:

  • Both models offer a 12 ft (3.65 m) reach radius, but the MZ100 has a lifting capacity of 100 lbs (45 kg), while the ML150 can lift up to 150 lbs (68 kg).
  • The ML150 has a vertical travel/reach of up to 10 ft (3.05 m) without extensions, whereas the MZ100 can reach up to 20 ft (6.09 m), offering greater flexibility in height without needing additional accessories.

Power and Operation:

  • The MZ100 operates on a lithium-ion battery or 120V AC, offering up to 30 hours of run time and the convenience of operating while charging.
  • The ML150 requires a 20A @ 120V AC power source, often necessitating onsite generators where power is not readily available.

Key Features and Design Considerations


  • Higher lifting capacity and the inclusion of more off-the-shelf attachments.
  • Onboard air system for custom grippers.
  • Requires a power source for operation, suitable for sites with generator access.


  • Enhanced mobility, lightweight design and battery operation.
  • Features a steel-reinforced belt to prevent the entanglement of data and power cords, addressing a common issue in construction environments.
  • Equipped with a three-link arm for increased flexibility and ease of maneuvering around obstacles, especially beneficial for indoor projects. The middle arm is removable for further size and weight reduction.

Interchangeability and Warranty: Both models share the same bolt connection pattern, allowing for interchangeability of bases and masts, which is advantageous for customers already owning compatible components. Additionally, both units are backed by an 18-month warranty from Construction Robotics, ensuring reliability and support.

Conclusion: The choice between the MZ100 and ML150 depends on your specific project requirements. The MZ100 is ideal for tasks requiring mobility, longer battery life, and maneuverability in tight spaces. On the other hand, the ML150 is better suited for jobs needing higher lifting capacities and the use of custom attachments, albeit with reliance on an external power source. Regardless of your choice, both models promise to enhance productivity and safety on the construction site. To learn more about how the ML150 or the MZ100 can help you build smarter on your next job, contact Construction Robotics.

Why you should stop paying a premium for lightweight block, when every block can be lightweight

In the realm of masonry, the quest for efficiency and safety has led to a paradigm shift towards lightweight Concrete Masonry Units (CMU). Traditionally, masons have grappled with the physical toll exerted by the standard, heavier 12″ blocks, a reality that has steered the industry towards lighter alternatives. This transition, however, comes at a cost—a premium that has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of their operations, often unconsciously accepted as a fixed component of project budgets.

The weight of these “lightweight” blocks, while significantly reduced, still presents a considerable physical challenge. Weighing in at 40, 50, or even 60 pounds, they demand a notable exertion from the masons, albeit less than the more daunting 60 to 80 pounds of their heavier counterparts. This reduced weight, while beneficial, begs the question: Why continue to pay a premium for these lighter blocks when the solution could lie not in the material, but in the methodology?

Enter the MULE—a technological marvel that promises to revolutionize the way masonry is approached. The concept is simple yet transformative: equip masons with a tool that renders the weight of any block virtually nonexistent, irrespective of its actual mass. This innovation not only negates the need to pay extra for lighter blocks but also expands the scope of projects masons can undertake, without the deterrent of weight.

The financial logic underpinning this shift is compelling. The initial investment in a MULE might appear substantial, but it’s a cost that quickly justifies itself. By eliminating the need for lighter, more expensive CMUs, masons can reallocate their budgets towards this equipment, which consistently mitigates the physical burden on workers. This not only has the potential to reduce workers’ compensation claims but also enhances productivity—a critical factor in the profitability of masonry projects.

Moreover, the MULE’s versatility extends beyond the realm of CMUs. It opens up opportunities for masons to diversify their services, tackling projects involving stone veneer and other materials previously deemed too labor-intensive or costly due to weight considerations. This adaptability further amplifies the return on investment, making the MULE not just a tool, but a strategic asset in the competitive landscape of masonry.

The inertia of tradition, however, poses a challenge. Masons, habituated to the premium associated with lightweight CMUs, may initially be reluctant to recalibrate their financial strategies. Yet, as the tangible benefits of the MULE become increasingly evident—both in terms of cost savings and operational efficiency—the case for this shift becomes irrefutable. Masons who embrace this innovation will find themselves at a distinct advantage, capable of bidding on a broader array of projects with newfound confidence and competitiveness.

In essence, the premium for lightweight masonry blocks represents more than just an additional expense—it symbolizes a longstanding adherence to a status quo that no longer serves the best interests of masons. The advent of solutions like the MULE heralds a new era, one where efficiency, safety, and profitability are no longer mutually exclusive, but harmoniously aligned. The future of masonry, it seems, is not just lighter, but brighter.