Progress Starts With A Great Foundation

Over 45 years ago, Tri-State Drilling pioneered the sub-specialty of drilled foundations for electrical transmission lines. Before then Tri-State built dewatering well crews who could rapidly install a well in difficult conditions, then move the whole operation a thousand feet and do it again. That professional discipline translated perfectly to transmission line foundation work.

Over the decades, Tri-State has installed transmission line foundations in 48 continental United States and Alaska. We have worked as a prime foundation contractor for Eversource, Commonwealth Edison, Xcel Energy, Basin Electric, National Grid, Ottertail Power, Minnkota Power and others. We have worked as a preferred subcontractor for many major line contractors in the country as well, including Michels, Irby, Par Electrical Contractors, Harlan Electric, Henkels & McCoy, L.E. Myers, M.J. Electric, 3-Phase Construction, IB-Abel, J.W. Didado, and numerous others.

To succeed in all these varied environments, we have developed techniques to handle everything from high water tables in caving soils to the hardest granite, all while leaving behind the lightest possible footprint. Once our new customers see our crews at work, and see the professionalism of their results, they become confirmed repeat customers.

The key to our success is our people. We treat our employees well, so we have very high retention. Once an operator works for us, they become members of the family, and many spend the rest of their careers with us. We count on them to bring our customers the best quality work and to leave the land-owners happy. With that high retention, we maintain a team that has hundreds of years of experience doing just one thing: delivering, in a timely fashion, highest quality foundations to the electrical transmission industry.

Our Mission, our Vision

Our Mission

Providing best in class employee, client, and community experience through our passion for advancing the nation’s infrastructure.

Our Vision

Core Values

Our History

A Legacy Built on Trust and Partnership.

Throughout all Tri-State Drilling’s history, we gained a nationwide footprint and continue to be known for our quality, mobility, and ability to drill in complex conditions and our specialized discipline, technique, the tools, and equipment.


July 13, 1955 – Tri-State Drilling is Incorporated.

One drill rig, one salesperson – Tri-State works on its first job in dewatering.

Sold municipal water wells and pumps for those systems.

Tri-State bought more rigs, added another drill and more crew. Deep well work began.



Tri-State begins foundation work and started doing more dewatering work than well work.



Tri-State sees an opportunity in the market and began to focus on wet foundations which was the entry to powerlines. Word on our work with NSP got out and our work grew to jobs in gas and electric utility companies in Wisconsin and Chicago.

Powerline work grew to over 70% of the business.


Foundation work becomes the primary focus for Tri-State as dewatering work exits the market due to technology and changed job specifications.

Tri-State begins non-powerline foundations work including bridge and building work.

Diversified service offering included rapid increase of cell towers foundations, dewatering, large diameter downtown Mpls shafts, large bridge shafts installed on barges, drop-shafts for lift stations, etc.

Projects included Wausau, WI Hwy 29 bridge foundations, Oshkosh, WI Hwy 41 bridge foundations, Cloquet, MN Hwy 33 bridge foundations, Cold Spring, MN Hwy 23 bridge foundations, Atlanta, GA Transmission line foundations drilled on barges over a lake, etc.

Retired equipment included 1968 crane with cable tooling, 1969 3001 Watson drill.

Added our first LoDrill, viber-hammer, cluster drill, down-hole hammer.


Large-scale transmission line foundation project began for Arrowhead (MN) to Weston (WI) T-line. This was the longest duration T-line project requiring 4 crews 12 months per year
for 3 full years. This project changed the way equipment was used, maintained and new equipment was purchased.

A new EMT 160 was added.


Minnkota Power Center to Grand Forks (ND) T-line work.

Spanned 250 miles and included 1352 foundations, 117,500 YDS of concrete.

TRPT Segment 8 So Cal Edison Chino, CA

August 2010 – October 2013, 986 Foundations



Tri-State continues work in utility shafts and expands their specialty service to include renewable energy support.