The original Grave Digger monster truck was built by Dennis Anderson in 1982, out of discarded components of other vehicles. The Grave Digger name was invented when Anderson promised to dig his competitors a grave, despite their higher-end technology. The original truck was red, with the iconic black color scheme not added until 1985. As of 2015, Anderson has four Monster Jam World Finals titles in Grave Digger. His truck is regarded as the most popular machine in Monster Jam.
Grave Digger updated its original small block engine to a large block in 1983. This engine was later upgraded to a 2000 hp Rodeck engine, which was banned on the monster truck circuit in 1987. Grave Digger debuted its first fiberglass body in 1989, the same year two racing teams first operated under the iconic name. Grave Digger had a green chassis for the first time in 1992. Over 20 different trucks have carried the Grave Digger name, with the current model built in 2008, as of 2015.
Dennis Anderson invented the concept of freestyle events at monster truck shows by insisting on returning to the road after a breakage forced him out of a race. Fittingly, Grave Digger's first championship at the inaugural Monster Jam World Finals was in the freestyle category, with Anderson behind the wheel. Racing titles followed in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Anderson has two sons, Adam and Ryan, who also drive on the Monster Jam circuit. Adam drives a truck named Grave Digger: The Legend, continuing the name's legacy.
Grave Digger has had numerous other drivers over the years, including Pablo Huffaker, Gary Porter, Charlie Pauken, Jon Zimmer and Carl Van Horn. The team established Digger's Dungeon in 1988, a garage where new machines are built, old ones are celebrated and Grave Digger merchandise is sold.