Chairman's Message: December 2022

Words: Larry Vacala

Larry Vacala, MCAA Chairman

Traveling can be exciting and educational. There is so much out there to see and do. I’ve done a great deal of traveling these past 2 months. Three of my trips have been following the MCAA MASONRY STRONG Nitro Rally X car.  This car is a part of the MCAA MASONRY STRONG campaign. My son Lane is the driver of the “MASONRY STRONG” car.  The MCAA has committed to attract the younger generation through social media efforts and the Rally X car. The Nitro Rally X series races all over the world. In the past couple years, I’ve been to races in Canada, France and South Africa. The first two rounds this year were held in Lydden Hill, U.K. June 18 & 19 and Strangnas Sweden July 30 & 31.  The U.S. rounds were held in Elk River, Minnesota on Oct 1 & 2, Glen Helen, California on Oct 29 & 30, and Chandler Arizona on Nov 12 & 13. January, February, and March will be the final rounds in Canada and the U.S. The racing is very intense for the drivers. It’s also an endurance race for the cars. While racing on a combination of dirt, asphalt and jumps, the drivers and cars take a beating. It’s a lot of fun to watch and I’m sure it’s even more exciting to be racing.  A special thank you to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Team, MCAA, EZG Manufacturing and TexaCon Cut Stone for your help in promoting the MASONRY STRONG Car. In mid-October I took another trip to Historic Savannah Georgia. Savannah is a charming Southern escape filled with beautiful historic masonry structures. You can’t help but be impressed at the craftsmanship that went into these masonry treasures. Savannah has so much history with its cobblestone streets, parks, and notable historic buildings. That is why it was being considered for my Mid-year convention pick.  My travel to Savannah this time was to attend a fund raiser held by Danial Defense. Daniel Defense is a family owned and privately held firearms manufacturer located in Black Creek, Georgia. Their foundation is called The Double D Foundation.  The mission of The Double D Foundation is to protect the Second Amendment by growing the number of Americans involved in shooting sports, who understand the fundamentals of firearm safety, and share the core belief that the Second Amendment Defends the Rest. They believe it is so important to introduce Americans to the joys that come with shooting, whether it be self-defense, hunting, shooting sports, or first-timers learning the fun of shooting and gun safety. It was quite a great event with very inspirational speakers.  With the holiday season upon us, winter weather is upon us. Unfortunately, labor shortages and supply chain delays have some projects being pushed into the winter months. Winter weather is especially tough for companies operating in the northern and central states. With the harsh weather conditions, it’s a challenging time of year to be working outdoors. Enclosing and heating projects is one option. With this option, there certainly will be additional costs. In addition to the costs for enclosing and heating is the loss of production in an 8-hour day.  Dealing with snow, howling wind, and freezing temperatures will definitely slow production down. Another option is shutting down outdoor operations until weather conditions are more favorable. Some employees welcome that winter break. It may not always be the best choice to leave the building open during the winter months. This could cause serious damage to the structure. To prevent snow and water infiltration it’s important to cover every opening. Having equipment exposed to these harsh conditions is not recommended. If you’re renting equipment, it may be cost effective to return it while not in use.  If neither demobilizing nor enclosing for winter was in your bid, it will hurt your bottom line. It may be time to negotiate with the G.C. or owner.  We all have big decisions to make before the snow flies and frigid temperatures arrive. Hope you all can have a plan in place to be profitable.  Quick reminder: the World of Concrete is right around the corner, January 16-19. Registration is now open. The schedule is posted on the MCAA website. Come out and see the newest equipment and tools in our industry. Get your management staff signed up for some educational classes.  It may even be time for you to take a refresher course. Join us for one of our MCAA meetings. Hope to see you out there. Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!  Stay Safe and Stay Strong! Larry Vacala
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