He looked outside and spotted a gang of brickies working on a new home being built, donning shorts and singlets, tattoos on their arms, long hair, smoking cigarettes and listening to the music on full volume.
To Rod it all meant only one thing! Freedom.
That’s when he decided to start working as a bricklayer, but little at the time, did he know that it was what he was going to do for the rest of his life.
Challenges in growing the business
5 years later, still travelling from Central Coast to Sydney working for some big gangs, Rod felt his energy was not the same as before. The early start and late finish of this tough physical job was draining him out. The long commuting from home to work and back wasn’t helping either.
At that point, Rod decided to start his own business, Rod Till Bricklaying.
“I lent some money from the bank to buy my first truck and equipment and began working in the Central Coast doing project homes. But the money wasn’t great as they would tell me what I’m getting paid as opposed to me quoting it for them. I knew I could make more money working for private builders, telling them my rates and backing it up with exceptional work as I was trying to build my business and get a good name for myself,” says Rod.
Getting his business up wasn’t free of setbacks. Rain – no work, hence no pay; late delivery of bricks – delay and bottlenecks; guys not showing up – another story altogether. And then there is the problem of finding apprentices. “It’s a hard physical job. You need to be cut out for it mentally and physically. Only the strong survive in our trade,” says the 55 year old brickie.
Despite the challenges, Rod feels lucky to have done all aspects of bricklaying working on massive commercial high rise jobs in Sydney laying Besser blocks, Hebel blocks, Glass blocks, all different types and sizes of bricks and even had the opportunity to work on the 2000 Sydney Olympic site for 2 years which he loved.
Rod’s best work so far
Life away from work
About Tradie Life
Tradie Life is a growing community group run by i4Tradies. It’s a place for you to talk about whatever’s important to you as a tradie. Be it your personal life challenges, questions on how to improve your business, your journey so far, volunteer work, being a female tradie, work-life balance, what you like to do when you are not working. Pretty much anything that matters to you and you want an answer to it from veteran tradies who have walked in your shoes.
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