How It Began
The company was founded on the age old concept of ‘solving a problem’. In 1947, George Dickinson tried to find a Jeep-mounted auger drill to drill the crop line of coal on his property on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. However, no one made such a drill, so, he bought a Turner post-hole drill on a Jeep and took it to a small machine shop where modifications were made to enable it to go to 50 or 60 feet deep. That summer, his drill was taken to the property to be put to work. While traveling to and from town, he was stopped by the Tennessee Roads Department to inquire about the strange looking drill. After an informative conversation, George left with an order for several units and Mobile Drill International (MDI) was born.
By 1965, MDI had outgrown its facility and moved to a larger plant in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was here that MDI would invent and produce dozens of new sampling tools and drills that would launch the Company’s global growth. Many of these products, in both tooling and drills, would go on to become industry standards that endure to this day.
The founder’s motto of ‘find a better way’ was a customer-centric philosophy long before it was a term. This was exemplified by the drills MDI began manufacturing that helped pioneer the concept of ‘multi-purpose drill’ through its integral design concept. The design, accompanied by innovative tooling, allowed geotechnical drillers everywhere to grow their business and maximize their investment in their drills. Customers were now able to move beyond simple, dry auger borings into drive sampling, rocking coring, and rotary drilling by simply adding additional equipment to their existing drills. This philosophy of looking to provide value to our customers was well received by the market. By 1985, MDI had its products in nearly every country in the world.
In 2009, local ownership purchased Mobile Drill Intl and embarked on a renewed era of investment and commitment to the future by embracing the core values of its past. Today’s MDI offers newly designed drills, expanded inventory on parts and tooling, and new ways of doing business. This includes rental drills and floor inventory of new and refurbished drills to fit all budgets. But one thing remains unchanged since 1947 – the mission to provide unmatched value to our customers through our products, services, and commitment to solving problems.