Minneapolis/Saint Paul Twin Cities Metro Areas. Minnesota
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Asbestos Site Supervisor
Cliff Lutz came to Minnesota as a child. While
growing up in Edina, Cliff excelled in music. At seventeen, he won the
state wide competition to represent Minnesota in a renowned
After attending the U. of M., Cliff played professionally for seven
years at the Guthrie and Chanhassen Dinner Theater. He chose to live a
simple life in the country southwest of Chaska. His love of nature and
his desire to be constantly challenged led him down a road not often
When Dutch Elm Disease invaded the state in 1977, Cliff gave up his
career in music and started a tree service. In 1985 he envisioned a pulp
loading machine that was faster and more efficient than those currently
used. He paid Hood Equipment to build such a machine.
The Company’s Conception
Soft Touch Demolition was born three days after the new machine was
operational. Arriving at the city of Mound one morning to begin removing
the diseased trees for the day, a police officer signaled Cliff and his
new rig to pull over. The officer explained that the city manager saw
the incredible machinery and wanted Cliff driven back to city hall to
look at an important project.
The project was simple; a small vacant house “sandwiched” between newer
constructions less than three feet away on two sides. The city manager
explained that with this new machine, the house could be taken apart in
pieces and safely removed without damaging the adjacent buildings.
Cliff instantly realized that the new machine could quickly remove the
structure in a safe way. A price was agreed upon. The price was less
than the city would have paid to remove the house by hand labor.
The next Saturday, without any help, Cliff removed the house in less
than five hours with this machine. When completed, the concept of using
the new machine to take apart buildings in tight places appeared; thus
the creation of a company from a single event was born.
The Company’s Development
While the idea was born in a moment, the
conceptual development of the company took much longer. Many years were
spent removing buildings in tight spots. There was no room for error, no
space for any type of collapse. Each structure needed to come down one
level at a time, often room by room. In no case could the structure left
standing become unstable. It was safest to learn not to damage what was
yet to be taken down.
Without knowing how they would be used in the future, Cliff was learning
all the techniques needed to perform “tear offs”, or partial building
removals. Knowledge about various types of construction was gained
during those years. Every day, new ways to get the jobs completed in
less time were developed and practiced.
With the acquisition of so many skills learned by using this unique
equipment, new challenges appeared quickly. In the beginning, calls came
in to remove roofs; then calls were received to remove entire second
stories. Builders would hear of the machine and ask to have a house
removed to its lower floor system or to a foundation, which was to be
re-used for new construction. Removing attached garages and additions
became a daily occurrence.
Mobile home parks found that the new machine was perfect for removing
those homes that were not road worthy. Insurance companies found the new
concept in demolition perfect for removing only those portions of a home
severely damaged. The word spread and in 1998 a second more technically
advanced machine was designed to keep up with the calls he received.
Soft Touch Demolition has during its 36 years of service earned a
distinguished name for itself and holds a unique position in the
remodeling world. No other service company exists that does what this
company is able to do. The company operates because of unmatched skills
in operating this specialized equipment.
Copyright © Soft Touch Demolition, 2012. All rights