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 Meents' regular chassis (Willman front engined chassis), his stunt chassis (also a Wllman front engined chassis, used for his double backflip and front flip attempts), Neil Elliott's chassis (Willman front engined chassis), Colton Eichelberger's chassis (CRD rear engined chassis), and Jared Eichelberger's chassis (CRD rear engied chassis).
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 trucks 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 at the Monster Jam World Finals 4.
In 2004, he tied with Madusa and El Toro Loco for the win in freestyle at the Monster Jam World Finals 5. For the encore, Meents and Elliott brought out both Maximum Destruction monster trucks to entertain the crowd.
In 2005, Neil Elliott 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 at the Monster Jam World Finals 7 and was seeded last in qualifying. He didn't win racing, but did jumped clear over a second truck being driven by Neil Elliott during freestyle, with Elliott's truck 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 Monster Jam World Finals 8; but, halfway around the world, at the show in Gothenburg, Sweden, he performed the first monster truck backflip (Technically, 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, he got the pole position at the Monster Jam World Finals 9 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 encore.
In 2009, Kreg Christensen joined the team and drive a CRD chassis, the first time for Maximum Destruction. Later that year, Tom won the racing championship at the Monster Jam World Finals 10. For the encore, he successfully completed a backflip before rolling over for the audience.
In 2010, a Willman front engined El Toro Loco debuted driven by Chuck Werner as a teammate for Team Max-D. Tom made it to the championship round of racing at the Monster Jam World Finals 11, but lost to Dennis Anderson in Grave Digger. This was the only time they raced against each other in a World Finals championship race.
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 the Monster Jam World Finals 12 that year, taking out long-time rival Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter.
In 2012, Tom won Racing again at the Monster Jam World Finals 13, taking out Damon Bradshaw in Monster Energy. Later that year, he attempted first double backflip during the Path of Destruction finale in East Rutherford, NJ, but was unsuccessful.
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 the Monster Jam 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. At World Finals XV, Max-D 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 began driving Max-D for the #MoreMonsterJam Tour and Neil Elliot began competing on the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series. Elliot and Kane would both win the respective tours, with Meents getting an invitation to the Monster Jam World Finals 16. This is the first time three Max-D's were invited to the World Finals. For World Finals 16, Neil Elliot drove a red Max-D and Morgan Kane drove 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 attempted the first front flip in a monster truck, but was unsuccessful. He landed on the rear tires, causing the truck to bounce and not land on the front wheels, as required by the Guinness guidelines. Tom once again attempted a double backflip Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
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 join his brother/Tom's other stepson, Jared Eichelberger, for both More Monster Jam tours. Colton drove a brand new gold Max-D for West More Monster Jam, Jared drove a brand new yellow Max-D in the East More Monster Jam tour, and Neil drove a red Max-D from the 2015 Monster Jam World Finals in the west coast. Meents drove in the Fox Sports 1 Championship Series.
In the FS1 Series 2016 in Anaheim, CA, "Mike Wales", a former Monster Jam driver who passed away in 2016, had his name written on the truck instead of the usual "Tom Meents".
Much controversy arose after Max-D's freestyle encore at the Levi Stadium show in Santa Clara, CA on April 9, 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, he actually 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 equivalent 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 reattempted. He reattempted this at the MetLife Stadium show in East Rutherford, NJ, where he performed it successfully.
In late 2016, Jared ran the candy apple red body on a spare CRD chassis from Monster Jam University for the Glendale, AZ show in October and then the gold body on the same chassis in November in Jackson, MS. In December, Tom debuted a brand new chassis in St. Louis. The new truck was shorter then his others, but had the same chassis and shock heights as the others. The truck earned a racing win in Minneapolis a week later. Jared got a new chassis as well and debuted it in Salt Lake City in January 2017. Chuck Werner ran a Max-D in Chile.
In 2017, all Max-D's were back to the original gray/silver. Tom ran the FS1 Series East Tour and Neil ran in the West Tour. Colton and Jared ran the More Monster Jam Tour, Colton in the East Tour and Jared in the West Tour. Jared debuted a new truck, Max-D #7. After New Orleans, Tom suffered a lower back injury and was out from the end of January through the end of May. Colton took over for him while Blake Granger took over for Colton in the East Tour. Due to his injury, Tom did not compete in the Monster Jam World Finals 18. Ironically, his archenemy Dennis Anderson also sustained an injury, making this the first World Finals where both Tom and Dennis did not compete. The red Max-D was run by Neil Elliott for Saudi Arabia in a CRD chassis. In Chile, Chuck Werner also ran a CRD and would win an event championship.
In 2018, the team celebrated its fifteenth year anniversary. Tom and Neil each ran a Monster Jam Stadium Tour, Colton and Jared once again ran on the More Monster Jam Tours, Colton in the Central and Jared in the East. Neil also received a new chassis. Tom and Colton were invited to the Monster Jam World Finals 19 in March. After winning Stadium Championship Series 1 on February 25, 2018, Neil received his own invite to World Finals 19 as well. Jared was also invited to the Double Down Showdown at the World Finals. Later that year at the World Finals 19 racing encore, five Max-D were run and performed different tricks including reverse backflips and stoppies. After the first quarter, Neil ran Max-D in the European Tour on a CRD chassis.
World Finals Appearances
- 2003 - Tom Meents
- 2004 - Tom Meents (won freestyle)
- 2005 - Tom Meents
- 2006 - Tom Meents (won freestyle)
- 2007 - Tom Meents
- 2008 - Tom Meents
- 2009 - Tom Meents (won racing)
- 2010 - Tom Meents
- 2011 - Tom Meents (won racing)
- 2012 - Tom Meents (won racing)
- 2013 - Tom Meents (won freestyle)
- 2014 - Tom Meents
- 2015 - Tom Meents, Neil Elliott (red), Morgan Kane (gold)
- 2016 - Tom Meents, Colton Eichelberger (gold) (DDS: Jared Eichelberger (yellow))
- 2017 - Neil Elliott, Colton Eichelberger (DDS: Jared Eichelberger)
- 2018 - Tom Meents, Neil Elliott, Colton Eichelberger (DDS: Jared Eichelberger)