Dale Jenkins is the owner of Southern Underground LLC, based in Lincolnton, North Carolina. He started the business in January 2019 after building up two decades of experience in horizontal directional drilling. Today, Jenkins’ team specializes in utility installation and HDD consulting and training, in addition to erosion control methods, finish grading and excavation across the Carolinas.

“I had always wanted to start my own business and I set myself a goal to do it at the age of 40. I actually missed that mark by a few months,” Jenkins said. “But I wanted the satisfaction of paving my own way and taking pride in your work, and actually the work that has your name on it.”

Prior to becoming a business owner, Jenkins developed a passion not only for drilling, but for mastering the art of HDD and sharing his experience with peers and clients through formal training. He built this offering into Southern Underground, which provides HDD companies with training in the office, through field demos and on official projects. 

“One of the things that always got me in the industry was you have people that weren’t trained properly training other people that are new and it’s a domino effect of unsafe habits and bad practices. I enjoy teaching people the right way and hopefully they stick with it,” Jenkins said.

This episode covers:

  • Jenkins’ horizontal directional drilling experience pre-Southern Underground.
  • Keeping busy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Working for others versus working for himself.
  • Consulting and training industry peers big and small.
  • Jenkins’ “secret of the trade” which involves examining trees for signs of the rock below.
  • Highlights from Southern Underground’s most profitable HDD project yet.
  • Thoughtful tips for other drillers considering entrepreneurship in HDD.

Check out today’s episode to hear more. Watch the video here or listen to the audio version of our conversation at www.thedriller.com/boring-podcast. You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts. Search for Boring Conversations, then hit Subscribe.

Want to be a guest on a future episode of Boring Conversations? Know a drilling industry professional who should? Email verduscoj@bnpmedia.com for consideration.


Southern Underground LLC on the web: www.southernundergroundllc.com   

Contact Dale Jenkins atdjenkins@southernundergroundllc.com