Maximum Destruction is one of the most popular trucks in Monster Jam, namely for commonly living up to its fitting name that best describes its freestyle performances, especially with Maximum Destruction creator Tom Meents behind the wheel. It has always been a fan-favorite to see this truck go up in racing against the other legendary monster truck Grave Digger, especially when piloted by Tom Meents and Dennis Anderson respectively. The two have been long time rivals in the monster truck industry, although the two are actually friends in real life.
The truck's name and design is owned by FELD while Tom owns the chassis. There are presently five Maximum Destruction chassis, Tom Meent's regular chassis (the regular scheme), his stunt chassis (also a regular scheme, used for his double backflip and front flip attempts), Neil Elliot's chassis (the red scheme), Colton Eichelberger's chassis (the gold scheme), and Jared Eichelberger's chassis (the yellow scheme).
In 2001 Tom Meents ran his final year behind the wheel of Goldberg, and the final appearance for the truck would be in the video game Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction. It can be speculated that the name for the truck was inspired if not directly taken from the video game as it came out less than two years before the truck's debut.
In 2003, Tom Meents introduced Maximum Destruction (A second Maximum Destruction monster truck was driven by Neil Elliott) as his new name taking over 2002's Team Meents machine. However, it won neither the racing, nor freestyle championship that year.
In 2005, Neil Elliot took a one year break from racing and Phil Foster replaced him. Maximum Destruction enjoyed a lot of success. Tom dedicated his World Finals run to his friend Deric Tredholm from Make-a-Wish who had passed away. For the encore, fans enjoyed a freestyle show put on by rivals Tom Meents and Dennis Anderson at the same time. That same year, he jumped over an old house before completely smashing it to pieces.
In 2006, he had drive shaft problems and was seeded last in qualifying. He didn't win racing, but did something amazing for freestyle. He jumped clear over a second truck being driven by Neil Elliot, perched high atop the volcano obstacle, easily winning him the freestyle championship, and confirming once again his title as "King of Air".
In 2007, he did not win at the World Finals; but, halfway around the world, at the show in Gothenburg, Sweden, he performed the first monster truck backflip (Technically, has he finished the rotation, but had aid from the ramp he drove off to roll him), and tied Grave Digger for the win. Travis Pastrana tried to recreate the move for his MTV show Nitro Circus, but landed flat on his roof, much to Tom's amusement.
In 2008, at the World Finals, he got the pole position and made it to the final round, but broke down and couldn't make the call. He didn't win freestyle either, but brought out another Maximum Destruction truck for an amazing encore.
In 2009, he won the racing championship. For the encore, he successfully completed a backflip before rolling over for the American audience.
In 2011, Tom ran a brand new chassis from the start of the season. He wound up having a large crash during a freestyle in Arlington, Texas. The whole front end was torn off, the motor blew, and both front shocks were ruined. Tom won Racing at World Finals 12 that year, taking out long-time rival Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter.
In 2012, Tom won Racing again at World Finals XIII, taking out Damon Bradshaw in Monster Energy. Later that year, he unsuccessfully tried to complete the first double backflip during the Path of Destruction finale in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
In 2013, the team celebrated its tenth anniversary with brand new body styles for all 3 drivers. Neil Elliott and Kreg Christensen received spiked bodies covered in chrome, while Tom received a body covered in orange LEDs. Tom won Freestyle at World Finals 14, and completed the first successful double backflip at the encore, while Neil Elliott, Kreg Christensen and Chuck Werner did their own backflips.
In 2014, Christensen left the Max-D team to drive independently in Australia. His replacement was announced to be Morgan Kane.A t World Finals XV, the Max D truck got shut off in the Semi-Finals, which he then won in the redo of the race, but lost in the Finals, due to spinning in the turn, to Grave Digger the Legend being driven by Adam Anderson.
In 2015, Morgan Kane begins driving Max-D for the #MoreMonsterJam Tour and Neil Elliot begins competing on the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series. Elliot and Kane would both win the respective tours, with Meents getting an invitation to World Finals 16. This is the first time three Max-D's are invited to the World Finals. For World Finals 16, Neil Elliot would drive a red Max-D and Morgan Kane would drive a golden Max-D (which looked similar to the previous two trucks, Goldberg and Team Meents). Later that year in East Rutherford, New Jersey on the 2015 Path of Destruction Tour, Tom completed the first Front Flip in the air with a monster truck, and got in the Guinness Book of World Records for landing it; he did another flip on the ground after landing on the rear tires. Tom also got another world record at Gillette stadium for the first ever double back flip and it landed clean.
In 2016, Morgan Kane switched from Max D over to Team Grave Digger while Colton Eichelberger (Tom's stepson) switched over to Max D and will join his brother and Tom's other stepson Jared Eichelberger for both More Monster Jam tours. Colton would drive a brand new gold Max-D for West More Monster Jam, Jared drives a brand new yellow Max-D in the East More Monster Jam tour, and Neil will drive a red Max-D from the 2015 Monster Jam World Finals in the west coast. Meents would drive in the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series
In the FS1 Series 2016 in Anaheim, CA, "Mike Wales", a former monster jam driver which passed away in 2016, was is written on the truck instead of the usual "Tom Meents".
Much controversy arose after Maximum Destruction's freestyle encore at the Santa Clara Monster Jam show on April 9th 2016 when it was advertised that he would jump over six trucks (in an attempt to break a record of five at the Monster Jam World Finals 17 racing encore). Instead of actually jumping over six trucks, what actually happened was he jumped a ramp with three trucks on either side. Many fans criticized Monster Jam for false advertisement and claimed that the six truck record was invalid, since he only jumped the equivilant of three truck lengths (although vertical, it was still less than six trucks) and that he never actually jumped over them. Monster Jam later made a statement through their Instagram that the stunt was actually altered due to the track's muddy conditions due to rainy weather and that the stunt would be re-attempted at the East Rutherford show, where it would be sucessfully performed.
In late 2016 Jared runs the candy apple red body on an old CRD chassis from Monster Jam University in Glendale, AZ in October and then the gold body on the same chassis in November in Jackson, MS. In December Tom debuts a brand new chassis in St. Louis. The new truck is shorter then his others, but has the same chassis and shock heights as the others. The truck gets a racing win in Minneapolis a week later. Jared got a new chassis aswell and will debut it in Salt Lake City in January.
In 2017, all Max-D's are back to the original gray/silver. Tom will compete on the FS1 Series east tour and Neil will run on the west tour. Colton and Jared will run the More Monster Jam Tour, Colton on the east and Jared on the west. Jared will debut a new truck. After New Orleans, Tom suffered a lower back injury and has been out ever since, and will not be running at the World Finals. The Red Max-D also returned for Saudi Arabia.