Active for more than 35 years, there are 8 competing Grave Digger vehicles with 9 current competing drivers on the Monster Jam circuit. Grave Digger is arguably the most famous and widely known monster truck anywhere in the world, and is considered to be Monster Jam's unofficial mascot.
In 1981, Dennis Anderson created his mud racer, Grave Digger 1. The name came from a smack-talking session he had with his rivals ("I'll take this old junk and dig you a grave with it.").
In 1984, the truck's scheme changed from a red pickup to the blue and grey panel truck, that would inspire Grave Digger the Legend in 2011.
One year later, in 1985, the iconic "graveyard" paint scheme debuts.
In 1986, Dennis Anderson started racing monster trucks full time. The truck became super popular,
despite lack of sponsorship that trucks like Bigfoot (Which was sponsored by Ford) had. His first major victory was in Saint Paul, Minnesota, against Bigfoot.
In 1991, the first non-monster truck Grave Digger, Grave Digger 6 is created. Digger travels to Australia for the first time.
In 1994, the first Grave Digger ride truck, Grave Digger 9, is built.
In 1995, Grave Digger 8 debuted as Anderson's new ride. Pablo Huffaker also built Grave Digger 10 which would replace his old #5. Grave Digger's paint job is updated; the purple mist appears, and the logo is set on one line.
In 1998, Dennis sold team Grave Digger to PACE Motorsports (now Feld Motorsports). Despite no longer owning the truck, he is still arguably its most popular driver.
In 2000, Anderson rebuilt Grave Digger 7 and was nicknamed "Grave Digger 13". The truck and Anderson
was invited to the Monster Jam World Finals 1 and won the freestyle championship with a score of 40.
In 2002, Grave Digger celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Dennis would campaign a special 20th Anniversary body for the year. Rod Schmidt was also welcomed to the fleet. Pablo Huffaker debuts Grave Digger 16.
In 2003, Jason Childress started driving for the team. Dennis Anderson later suffered an injury, keeping him out of the Monster Jam World Finals 4. Grave Digger was driven by Pablo Huffaker at the said event. Anderson debuts Grave Digger 18 which he replaced 13 with.
In 2004, Anderson received another new truck being Grave Digger 19. Randy Brown then took over driving duties for Grave Digger 14. At the World Finals, Dennis won his first racing championship, taking out Pablo Huffaker driving Blacksmith.
In 2005, Scott Pontbriand officially retired from the sport. Carl Van Horn replaced him and drove Grave Digger 14. Randy was then moved to Grave Digger 18. At the World Finals, Dennis made it into the final round of racing, only to lose to Madusa.
In 2006, Chad Tingler replaced Van Horn and took over the reigns of #14. Jason Childress also left the team and drove the new Batman truck. At the World Finals, Dennis won the World Racing Championship with the new truck he debuted at the start of the season, Grave Digger 20.
In 2007, Grave Digger celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Rod Schmidt took over Grave Digger 18 as Randy moved to #19. At the start of the season, Dennis again, suffered an injury until the World Finals and his son, Adam, would fill in for part of the season in 2007. Dennis runs a handpainted, chrome body at the World Finals, where he would make it into the final round of racing, only to lose to John Seasock in Batman. He would get second place in freestyle.
In 2009, Charlie Pauken's Grave Digger 15 was replaced by Grave Digger 22.
In 2010, Dennis won the team's fourth World Championship at the World Finals with #20. Gary Porter also competed on the Freestyle Mania tour until 2012.
In 2011, Carl Van Horn returned to the team and debuted Grave Digger 23. Grave Digger 24 and 25 also debuted in the same year as the new trucks for Chad Tingler and Gary Porter respectively, retiring both 12 and 14. The same year, Grave Digger raced against the Shockwave jet trucks at several NHRA Nitro Jam events until 2012. Randy Brown was behind the wheel for the majority of these races.
In 2012, Grave Digger celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Dennis runs two special 30th Anniversary bodies for the year, one purple and one green. Chrome versions of both would appear at that year's World Finals.
In 2014, 4 new Grave Digger trucks were unveiled. Grave Digger 27 replaced Charlie Pauken's old 22, 28 became Pablo Huffaker's new ride after Grave Digger 16 and 29 debuted under Randy Brown retiring his old Grave Digger 19. Dennis also debuted Grave Digger 30 retiring his 7 year old Grave Digger 20.
In 2015, Charlie Pauken and 27 competed in the Fox Sports 1 Series. After more than ten years of driving Grave Digger, Gary Porter left the team and moved to Carolina Crusher. His truck, 25, was since then driven by Colton Eichelberger who competed in the More Monster Jam tour. Charlie finished 4th in his series while Colton finished 2nd. They both got automatic bids to the World Finals hence, three Grave Diggers competed in World Finals 16, with Dennis driving the normal Grave Digger 30, Colton driving a purple Grave Digger 25, and Charlie driving a green Grave Digger 27. At the Path of Destruction Tour, "Steve Brynes" a former Nascar announcer who passed away on April 21, 2015 was written On the Grave Digger tombstone instead of the usual "Dennis Anderson".
In 2016, Chad Tingler left the team and was transferred to Alien Invasion early in the year retiring Grave Digger 24. A new chrome paint scheme debuted on Dennis Anderson's Grave Digger 30. Dennis's son Adam
joined team Grave Digger and competed in the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series with Grave Digger 32. Lifelong friend of the Anderson boys and former driver of Max-D, Morgan Kane joined the team after a switch from Max D to Grave Digger was made, hence, Colton Eichelberger was moved to the Max-D team while Kane took over the reigns of Grave Digger 25. Adam's long time crew chief Cole Venard also joined the team and competed in the More Monster Jam (2016) series with Grave Digger 31 along with Kane which they would eventually win. Charlie Pauken, Pablo Huffaker, Randy Brown, Carl Van Horn & Jon Zimmer all continued to run their own Grave Diggers. At
World Finals 17, Morgan Kane and Cole Venard debuted new paint schemes on their trucks. Kane would receive an orange scheme while Venard drives the purple scheme. Kane later won racing, while Adam Anderson won freestyle, both in their Grave Digger trucks; this caused a lot of controversy, as a lot of fans claimed that the use of multiple Grave Diggers was an unfair advantage for the team, and many others claimed that Adam's freestyle run was over scored.
A new Hot Wheels Grave Digger mold was also released, the first time in 16 years that the original mold, created in 2000 as one of the original 4 toys, was altered. This new design which went unnoticed at first until fans found the differences, being a more round body, new front clip, and overall, a more realistic design. The problem was that the design never showed the "New tool" deco on the packaging, and it shared the exact same packaging as the old style. Another version of Grave Digger was released, but this time, the roof artwork is different.
In 2017, Grave Digger celebrated its 35th Anniversary. Tyler Menninga joined the team and took over driving duties for Grave Digger 23. He ran the More Monster Jam tour along with Cole Venard and Grave Digger 31. Morgan Kane debuted a new truck Grave Digger 33 to replace 25. He along with Adam Anderson's Grave Digger 32 competed in the Fox Sports 1 Series. Dennis Anderson and Charlie Pauken ran the two Stadium Tours with 27 and 30, respectively, while Randy Brown and Pablo Huffaker competed in two of the other Arena Tours driving 29 and 28, respectively. The truck also received its first official female driver, Krysten Anderson, Dennis' daughter, who competed on the Central More Monster Jam Tour with the new Grave Digger 34.
In the first stop of Dennis' Stadium Tour in Tampa, Florida, he would suffer a career ending injury after a failed backflip attempt. Carl Van Horn and Jon Zimmer filled in for the rest of his tour. On September 18, 2017, Dennis announced his full retirement from Monster Jam, stating he would still be behind the scenes at events and in the pits.
In 2018, the team ran eight trucks. Former Son-uva Digger crew chief Brandon Vinson joined the team to take the place of Cole Venard. Adam Anderson takes over as the main driver due to Dennis Anderson's retirement. Jon Zimmer left the team to drive Dragon full time, as he was supposed to in 2017 before Dennis's injury, while Carl Van Horn returns to serve as a fill-in for the team. Adam Anderson, Charlie Pauken, Randy Brown, and Morgan Kane each ran a stadium tour. Three drivers once again competed at the Triple Threat Series, Krysten Anderson on the west series, Tyler Menninga on the central tour, and Vinson on the east series. Pablo Huffaker runs an arena tour. Pauken and Kane won their Stadium Championship Series while Menninga wins his Triple Threat tour, earning them invites to the Monster Jam World Finals 19. Adam Anderson wins the World Finals 19 Racing Championship against Menninga. Pablo retired after his final event in Florence, SC on the weekend of May 5-6, 2018.
In 2019, Chad Tingler will return to the team and will drive on the Monster Jam International Tour. Randy Brown will compete with Grave Digger 37 on the Monster Jam Arena Championship Series, Krysten Anderson with Grave Digger 34 on the Monster Jam East, Brandon Vinson with Grave Digger 31 on the Monster Jam Central, and Tyler Menninga with Grave Digger 36 on the West. Morgan Kane will compete on the Monster Jam Stadium Championship Series 1 with Grave Digger 33, Adam Anderson on Series 2 with Grave Digger 35 and Charlie Pauken on Series 3 with Grave Digger 38. Carl Van Horn might once again serve as the team backup driver; however, this has not yet been confirmed by him or FELD. An ice version of the truck debuts as a toy as part of Spin Master's Fire & Ice toy line, and will not debut in real life.
- Grave Digger is one of 4 trucks owned by FELD that was sold to them, rather than created by them (The other 3 being Bulldozer, Carolina Crusher, and Son-Uva Digger).
- The tombstones on the side of Grave Digger represent different trucks that Grave Digger has defeated in racing finals throughout the years.
- Pablo Huffaker, Jack Koberna and Dennis Anderson were the only Grave Digger drivers to create their own versions of the truck, as all other Digger's are created by FELD.
- Pablo's Grave Digger's can be simply identified by its often red shocks, purple rims and a shorter wheelbase than other Grave Digger's.
- Grave Digger 29 is currently the oldest Grave Digger truck being used for competition.
- Whilst FELD owns most of the Digger trucks, Racesource owned Pablo's trucks, the Anderson family own their members' trucks, and Randy Brown Motorsports owns Randy Brown's trucks, all in association with FELD.
- The truck is special for being the only FELD owned truck to be hand painted on every single body.
- Grave Digger is the only truck that has been released every single year in the Hot Wheels Monster Jam toy line. Along with El Toro Loco, the truck has also appeared in every Monster Jam video game to this day.
There have been 38 versions of Grave Digger to date. There is no Grave Digger XIII due to superstition about the number 13. The number of the truck is often displayed on the front of the hood.
|Grave Digger 1||Built in 1982. It was on display at the Monster Jam World Finals 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada for his twenty-fifth anniversary. It is now on display outside Digger's Dungeon in Poplar Branch, North Carolina. It is in poor condition|
|Grave Digger 2||Built in 1989. Leaf-sprung Grave Digger. It is now on display outside Digger's Dungeon.|
|Grave Digger 3||Built in 1991. The first four-link suspension Grave Digger. It was sold and became Inferno. The chassis is known as Slag Hag as of today.|
|Grave Digger 4||Leaf-sprung Grave Digger. Had the shortest lifespan of all the Grave Digger trucks.|
|Grave Digger 5||Also had a short lifespan and was sold to another team. The body is in the Digger's Dungeon shop and kids may climb on it.|
|Grave Digger 5 (Huffaker)||
Formerly Just Show N Off built and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 1992-1995. Now retired.
|Grave Digger 6||Rebuilt as the Son Uva Digger mudbogger for Ryan Anderson. Now retired.|
|Grave Digger 7||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Dennis Anderson from 1992-1996. Revamped in 2000 as Grave Digger 13 by Anderson where he would win Monster Jam World Finals 1 Freestyle. It now sits outside Digger's Dungeon.|
|Grave Digger 8||Four-link suspension Grave Digger driven by Robert Parker in the 90s and Scott Pontbriand from 2000-2004. Retired chassis. Was part of a museum exhibition in Chicago, Illinois. It appeared in Monster Trucks: The Science of Extreme Machines. Now on display at Digger's Dungeon.|
|Grave Digger 9||Ride truck. Sold, and is now the Extinguisher ride truck.|
|Grave Digger 10||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Used to be driven by Pablo Huffaker, but is now scrapped.|
|Grave Digger 11||Ride truck. Sold to Randy Moore, who turned it into War Wizard ride, who sold it to Randy Brown, who soon turned it into Pure Adrenaline ride, and later Grave Digger Ride. The truck has since been reaquired by FELD.|
|Grave Digger 12||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Used to be driven by Dennis Anderson from 1996-2000 and Gary Porter from 2001-2010. It also ran as Grave Digger the Legend in 2011 before it was retired.|
|Grave Digger 13||Grave Digger 13 was never built due to superstition regarding the unlucky number 13, just as Bigfoot 13 was never made (although Grave Digger 7 was nicknamed Grave Digger 13 after it was rebuilt in 2000).|
|Grave Digger 14||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2001 to 2003 and was driven by Randy Brown from 2004 to 2006. Was driven by Chad Tingler until 2010, when it was retired due to extensive damage.|
|Grave Digger 15||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Charlie Pauken from 2001 to 2008. Now retired.|
|Grave Digger 16||Four-link suspension Grave Digger built and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 2002-2013.|
|Grave Digger 17||
Pro Modified Drag Racer driven by Alan Pittman. Now retired.
|Grave Digger 18||Retired Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Formerly Driven by Dennis Anderson in 2003, Randy Brown from 2004-2007 and Rod Schmidt from 2008 to 2012.|
|Grave Digger 19||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2004 to 2005 and by Randy Brown from 2007 to 2014.|
|Grave Digger 20||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Was driven by Dennis Anderson from 2005 to 2013, the longest and arguably most successful for Dennis. Dennis won nine straight stadium racing events with this truck. Retired after 2013.|
|Grave Digger 21||Four-link suspension Grave Digger Experience truck. People can climb into the cab of the Grave Digger and watch a video presentation.|
|Grave Digger 22||Originally Batman from 2006 to 2008. Was driven By Charlie Pauken from 2009 to 2013.|
|Grave Digger 23||Built in 2010 and was driven by Carl Van Horn from 2011 to 2016. Revamped in 2017 and driven by Tyler Menninga. Now retired.|
|Grave Digger 24||Retired four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Chad Tingler from 2011-2015.|
|Grave Digger 25||Four-link suspension Grave Digger. Driven by Gary Porter from 2011 to 2014 and by Morgan Kane in 2015 to 2016. This truck won the Monster Jam World Finals 17 Racing competition. Now retired.|
|Grave Digger 26||
Was built in 2012 and driven by Jon Zimmer from 2013 to 2016. Now retired and currently is run as his new Dragon chassis.
|Grave Digger 27||Was a CRD chassis built in 2013 driven by Charlie Pauken from 2014 to 2018. Now Retired.|
|Grave Digger 28||Was a Racesource chassis created and driven by Pablo Huffaker from 2014 to 2018. Retired from competition in May 2018 together with Huffaker. Is now a display piece traveling with the Spin Master trailer/mobile display.|
|Grave Digger 29||Was a Cohen chassis built in 2014 and debuted just before 2015. Driven by Randy Brown until 2017. Currently serves as a backup Grave Digger and does the international tours as of now, being driven by Charlie Pauken for the 2018 Australian tour and is speculated to be driven by Chad Tingler for the 2019 International tour.|
|Grave Digger 30||Was a Cohen chassis that debuted in 2014. Driven by Dennis Anderson from 2014- 2017. Revamped for 2018 and driven by Brandon Vinson for that year, then retired. It will become a display piece as it crashes through a wall.|
|Grave Digger 31||Cohen chassis race truck. Driven by Cole Venard from 2016 to March 2017. Taken over by Randy Brown for the 2018 season, currently driven by Brandon Vinson.|
|Grave Digger 32||Was a Cohen chassis race truck. Was orignally the 2014 Grave Digger the Legend chassis. Driven by Adam Anderson from 2016 to 2017. The truck won Adam's second freestyle championship. It was given to Tyler Menninga in 2018, who retired the truck.|
|Grave Digger 33||
Cohen chassis, driven by Morgan Kane since 2017.
|Grave Digger 34||
CRD chassis, driven by Krysten Anderson since 2017.
|Grave Digger 35||Cohen chassis unveiled at SEMA 2017, driven by Adam Anderson since 2018, winning Adam his third racing championship.|
|Grave Digger 36||
CRD chassis driven by Tyler Menninga since October 2018.
|Grave Digger 37||
CRD chassis that debuted under Randy Brown in South America 2018, he will continue to drive it in 2019.
|Grave Digger 38||
CRD chassis that debuted under Morgan Kane in late 2018 arena shows, and will be driven by Charlie Pauken in 2019.
|Grave Digger's Boneyard Shuttle||An unofficial truck from the Grave Digger Fleet: a bus themed ride truck.|
|K'nex Grave Digger||Built in 2012; a display truck built entirely out of K'nex pieces.|
|Grave Digger 25.5||A black FELD chassis piloted by Paul Cohen in the 2012 Lexington, Kentucky shows.|
- 1999 - Dennis Anderson (Points)
- 2000 - Dennis Anderson (WF Freestyle)
- 2002 - Dennis Anderson (Points)
- 2003 - Gary Porter (Points)
- 2004 - Randy Brown (Points)
- 2004 - Dennis Anderson (WF Racing)
- 2006 - Dennis Anderson (WF Racing)
- 2010 - Dennis Anderson (WF Racing)
- 2016 - Morgan Kane (Racing and AMSOIL West), Adam Anderson (Freestyle and FS1 Series), Cole Venard (AMSOIL East)
- 2017 - Cole Venard (Triple Threat- West), Tyler Menninga (Triple Threat- East), Randy Brown (Arena Tour #4), Pablo Huffaker (Arena Tour #5), Charlie Pauken (Stadium Tour #4)
- 2018 - Charlie Pauken (Stadium Championship Series 2), Morgan Kane (Stadium Championship Series 3), Tyler Menninga (Triple Threat- Central), Adam Anderson (Racing)
List of Grave Digger Bodies
- Red pickup - Original GD body from 1982-83. It has been released as a Hot Wheels toy, and was echoed in the World Finals 11 encore.
- Blue & grey panel - Second GD body from 1984. It has also been released as Hot wheels toy, and was also echoed in the World Finals 11 encore. It was later reborn as Grave Digger the Legend.
- Graveyard - Debuted in 1985. This design is currently used to this day, with several changes over the years. The body would change from a 1951 Ford panel van to a 1950 Chevy panel van in 1991.
- Grave Digger 20th Anniversary - A body run by Dennis Anderson in 2002, to celebrate Grave Digger's 20th Anniversary.
- Green Ghost - This body was the same as the normal one, but the grey/purple ghost has been replaced with a green one with red eyes. This version also had a special roof design. Dennis would win racing at the World Finals running this design in 2006.
- Chrome 25th Anniversary Grave Digger - A special, hand-painted, chrome body, run by Dennis at the World Finals in 2007, to celebrate Grave Digger's 25th Anniversary.
- Grave Digger 30th Anniversary - Two trucks run by Dennis in 2012 to celebrate Grave Digger's 30th Anniversary, one green and one purple. Both were similar to the standard body, but instead of the standard ghost, a grim reaper was present, the flames were colored silver, the logo was changed, and the roof had a special tombstone design. Chrome versions of both with a 3D grim reaper appeared at the World Finals. The fleet body was the same as the normal design, but with a 30th Anniversary logo on the side.
- Green - A version of the standard design, with the black replaced by green and with purple flames. This design was run by Charlie Pauken at World Finals 16.
- Purple - A version of the standard design, with the black replaced by purple. This design was run by Colton Eichelberger at World Finals 16.
- Orange - A version of the standard design, with orange flames and chassis, driven by Morgan Kane at World Finals 17. Kane would win racing running this body.
- Purple (WF 17) - A version of the standard design, with purple flames and chassis, driven by Cole Venard at World Finals 17.
- Silver - A version of the standard design, with the black replaced by chrome. Dennis would run the design during 2016.
- Grave Digger 35th Anniversary - There was no special design run for the year, though there was a 35th Anniversary logo on the roof. According to Adam, special bodies for the trucks competing in the World Finals were planned, but never came to be.
- Grandma - A replica of the 1985 GD, run by Charlie Pauken in the World Finals 13 encore. It was also run, 5 years later, by Krysten Anderson in the World Finals 18 encore.
- Grim - A custom Hot Wheels Monster Jam toy released in 2004-2006. The truck has an older Grave Digger logo and has the Grim Reaper on the side of it. The truck was also released with a chrome design. Neither design was ever ran on an actual Grave Digger monster truck in real life. It's possible this design was planned for the actual truck, but got replaced with the "Green Ghost" scheme at the last minute.
World Finals Appearances
- 1999 - Dennis Anderson
- 2000 - Dennis Anderson (won freestyle)
- 2001 - Dennis Anderson
- 2002 - Dennis Anderson
- 2003 - Pablo Huffaker
- 2004 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
- 2005 - Dennis Anderson (stuck on the trailer after his freestyle run)
- 2006 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
- 2007 - Dennis Anderson
- 2008 - Dennis Anderson
- 2009 - Dennis Anderson
- 2010 - Dennis Anderson (won racing)
- 2011 - Dennis Anderson
- 2012 - Dennis Anderson
- 2013 - Dennis Anderson
- 2014 - Dennis Anderson
- 2015 - Dennis Anderson, Colton Eichelberger (purple), Charlie Pauken (green)
- 2016 - Adam Anderson (won freestyle), Dennis Anderson (chrome), Morgan Kane (orange) (won racing), Cole Venard (purple)
- 2017 - Adam Anderson, Morgan Kane, Randy Brown, Tyler Menninga (DDS: Krysten Anderson)
- 2018 - Adam Anderson (won racing), Tyler Menninga, Morgan Kane, Charlie Pauken (DDS: Krysten Anderson, Brandon Vinson)
Digger's Dungeon in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, serves as the official home and workshop of Grave Digger. It houses other various FELD vehicles from time to time. It features a gift shop and museum of various Grave Digger parts, trophies, and merchandise. The Digger's Diner restaurant rests nearby, with autographed Grave Digger hoods on the interior roof.