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EUREKA! How Soil Connect Was Created to Solve A Real Industry Problem

4 Minute Read
DirtStories logo for DOZR
May 21, 2020

An apple falling from a tree. Bodyweight displacing water in a bathtub. Lightning striking a kite. 

These Eureka moments stand out in history as a turning point. Something new was discovered, put together, thought up or invented. They usually lead to the introduction of a new theory, concept or product. You could argue that many companies were the product of a “Eureka” moment. DOZR certainly was. So was Soil Connect.

The Beginning of Soil Connect

Cliff Fetner was working as a builder and developer when we witnessed a situation unfold on one of his sites. His excavator has dug up and piled dirt until it started to become a roadblock on site. The operator couldn’t find anyone within his network that needed the dirt so the project came to a standstill. Cliff was left thinking, “there’s got to be a better way to get this dirt off-site.”

Soil Connect was born. Created to connect those who need soil with those who have it, Soil Connect is a downloadable app that aims to revolutionize the aggregate industry. Version 2 was released just this past November and the company is expecting to do another release of an updated version in the coming year. These updates have added more features to better communicate the clean or dirty state of the dirt, whether it’s been tested or not and what grade and makeup the soil is.

Using Technology to Solve a Problem

The foundation of the company was to solve a problem. But the outcome does much more than that. As Soil Connect kicked off, Cliff and his team recognized the other benefits of this new technology product: saving contractors and drivers money on fuel by shortening distances for soil pick up and delivery, and helping to reduce emissions by large delivery vehicles. 

Technology has been at the forefront of many Eureka moments in recent years. Construction, in particular, has had leaps and bounds in tech advancements in the past decade or so. Traditionally seen as the industry that is slow to embrace and adapt to technology, construction tech has begun to boom.

The Rise of Technology

Smart cities, IoT3D Printing and even technology for dealing with the COVID pandemic highlight the technological future of the industry. It is those who are driven by change, who embrace technology and who celebrate the Eureka moments in construction who will lead the way into the future. 

Cliff has seen it himself in his own career. Today, technology is directly related to higher levels of efficiency, growth and adaptability in construction. Its applications can be found in everything from soil and construction equipment rentals to fleet monitoring and on-site safety monitoring. No matter how big or small a construction company is, there is technology out there that can make your business run more efficiently.

What We Can Learn From Cliff and Soil Connect

While comparing the creation of a new company to the discovery of gravity may be far-fetched, the basic principles apply: those who seek new discoveries and who ask the questions “why” will lead and shape our future. 

By bringing transparency to the aggregate industry and challenging the “traditional” way of doing business, Cliff is doing just that. The future of construction and of soil distribution may look different in 10 years because he had the gall to ask, “why” and to look for a new solution to the problems.

Soil Connect highlights the need to ask the questions and to challenge the way things are “normally” done. Accepting the norm will do nothing to push boundaries while seeking inspiration can lead to Eureka moments. At the end of the day, it is our own mindset that can drive change. It’s the only way to shape a more efficient future for the construction industry.

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