Fire Max-D circa 2019
FELD Motorsports (name), Tom Meents (chassis)
2000 Futuristic SUV
2 Speed Coan
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 longtime rivals in the monster truck industry, although the two are actually friends in real life.
The truck's name and design are owned by FELD while Tom owns the chassis. There are presently six Maximum Destruction trucks with five full time drivers. Tom drives his Willman chassis. He also owns a second Willman chassis he uses exclusively for exhibition and stunts. Neil Elliott also drives a Willman chassis while Tom's stepson Colton Eichelberger and FELD driver Blake Granger both drive Willman-style CRD chassis Max-D's and Chuck Werner uses a CRD chassis Max-D.
Before 2000, the name and concept for Maximum Destruction was created. It is unknown precisely when, as sources such as Truckworld.com do not specify. It is however known, that the name Maximum Destruction was planned to be the successor to the Goldberg truck at least in early 2000.
In 2001, Tom Meents ran his final year behind the wheel of Goldberg. The name for the next season was planned to be Maximum Destruction. However, the 9/11 attacks occurred, and the name was shelved for one year so that the name and design would not stir any controversy. Meents would instead run Team Meents for only that year.
In 2003, Tom Meents introduced Maximum Destruction as his new name taking over 2002's Team Meents machine. He ran the name alongside teammate Neil Elliott who drove a second Maximum Destruction. However, he did not win anything that year at the Monster Jam World Finals 4, making this the first World Finals where Tom wouldn't win a single championship. During his freestyle run that year, he hit the motorhome and got the left-front tire stuck on it and while he was
trying to get out of it, the transmission broke, causing Meents to end his run early.
In 2004, During his freestyle run in Monster Jam World Finals 5, after he hit the camper van, he broke the right-front wheel and he kept going in his broken truck, as well as the only driver to fill the clock. However, he tied with Madusa and El Toro Loco for the win in freestyle at Monster Jam World Finals 5.
In 2005, Neil took a one year break from racing. Phil Foster then filled in for him. Maximum Destruction enjoyed a lot of success during this season. Tom dedicated his World Finals run to his friend Deric Trenholm 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 won freestyle at Monster Jam World Finals 7 after he jumped over Neil's truck perched high atop the pool obstacle, and he got the biggest air of the night, causing his truck to break the rear steering, but he kept going. However, he confirmed his title once again as "King of Air".
In 2007, Tom made history in a show in Gothenburg, Sweden as he completed a stunt somewhat similar to a monster truck backflip. This started the monster truck backflip evolution. However, at Monster Jam World Finals 8, during his freestyle run, he got the biggest air of the night, but unfortunately, the rear axle broke due to a hard landing after the jump, as well as the only driver to clear the double bus stack.
In 2008, at Monster Jam World Finals 9, during racing against Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter in the Semi-Finals, he won, but however, he had a mechanical problem after the race, causing Creten to replace Meents in the championship race. During his freestyle run, after his first hit, he rolled over and broke a wheel off. This will be the second time Meents ended his run early after his freestyle run in 2003. However, during the encore, he brought a second Maximum Destruction and he made 2 hits instead of one. After his second hit, it is similar to his original freestyle run, and broke a wheel off once again, but he did not roll over.
In 2009, Neil took another break from racing. This time, former Iron Outlaw driver Kreg Christensen filled in for him. 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. The truck also appears on a episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, destroying the Mattingly family's old home.
In 2010, Neil returned to driving. 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 Willman chassis from the start of the season. A third truck was also added to the team as Kreg Christensen rejoined the team. Unlike the other two Willman Chassis trucks run by Tom and Neil, Kreg ran a CRD Chassis Maximum Destruction. At the Monster Jam World Finals 12 that year, Tom won the Racing Championship taking out long-time rival Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter. During his freestyle run at Monster Jam World Finals 12, he locked up the right-rear wheel after 2 hits.
In 2012, Neil would debut a new chassis for his truck. Tom later won Racing again at Monster Jam World Finals 13, taking out Damon Bradshaw in Monster Energy. However, the rear shocks broke after the race, causing the team to fix his truck for freestyle. During his freestyle run at Monster Jam World Finals 13, he broke the four-link bar and the rear steering. 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 freestyle, during his run, he broke the rear steering after he performed a backflip, causing Meents to go to third place.
In 2015, Morgan Kane began driving Max-D for the #MoreMonsterJam Tour while 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, both with brand new chassis, 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 than 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. Chuck Werner drives the truck in Chile.
In 2019, Tom Meents will debut the Fire Max-D as a part of Monster Jam's Fire & Ice. He will drive this truck on Monster Jam Stadium Tour 1. Meanwhile, Jared Eichelberger will go on hiatus during first quarter to spend time with his wife. During his hiatus, Blake Granger will once again fill in and compete in the Triple Threat East Series. Colton Eichelberger and Neil Elliott will continue to run their own trucks competing in the Triple Threat West Series and Stadium Tour 2 respectively. Chuck Werner will drive on the International Tour.
- Grey 3D Spiked Max-D: Currently run on all trucks since 2014.
- Orange/Grey - Ran from 2003-12. It was run again at the World Finals 19 encore.
- Max-D: Decade of Destruction: Ran exclusively in 2013 to commemorate the truck's 10th Year Anniversary.
- Red - Ran by Neil Elliott from 2015-2017. Debuted at World Finals 16 and was run throughout the 2016 season. As of today, it is currently used in special events.
- Gold - Debuted at World Finals 16 under Morgan Kane. Ran by Colton Eichelberger throughout the 2016 season with a few body changes. Although no longer used in competition, the design is still in hold.
- Yellow - Debuted and only ran in 2016 under Jared Eichelberger. Now retired.
- Chrome - Mainly used on stunts by Tom Meents. Similar to the normal 3D grey scheme.
- Black - Driven by Tom Meents for the World Finals 19 encore. It is currently unknown if it will make other appearances.
- Fire - A body run in 2019 for the Monster Jam Fire & Ice driven by Tom Meents. It has a similar appearance with the red body.
- Red (2007) - A Hot Wheels toy first released in 2007. This version was mostly the same as the 2003-12 design, but the grey has been replaced with red. The toy was released in Standard, Tilt-Off, Spectraflame variations, and even got an Easter Beasts release in 2009 with special yellow wheels. While this version was never made in real life, it may have been planned for 2006, alongside the "Green Ghost" Grave Digger.
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) (YGS: Jared Eichelberger (yellow))
- 2017 - Neil Elliott (completed the reverse backflip), Colton Eichelberger (DDS: Jared Eichelberger)
- 2018 - Tom Meents, Neil Elliott, Colton Eichelberger (DDS: Jared Eichelberger)
- The robot character on Maximum Destruction is named the "Creator of Chaos".
- Despite the Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction video game and Crash Madness 2 VHS both featuring the name "Maximum Destruction", the truck has no relation to either pieces of media. The name and concept for Maximum Destruction was made long before either pieces of media were made.
- To this date, only one team Max-D driver has won a world finals title, that being Tom Meents.
- While Tom is an eleven time world champion, Max-D itself only has six titles, as Tom won the first five in Goldberg and Team Meents.
- For unknown reasons, a Holiday Edition Maximum Destruction toy was never released.
- The CRD chassis used by Colton, Jared, and Blake have the same chassis shape as Tom and Neil's Willman chassis.