The Auto Truck Group is on track to supply the Israel Defense Force (IDF) with more than 200 upfit extended cab Ram 3500 pickup trucks. The trucks, which are painted gray, are being used in variety of roles by the IDF, including for communications, transporting wounded troops, and as ammunition carriers.

The company delivered 100 of the upfit vehicles to the IDF in 2013, more than doubling that number this year to 230.

One of the big reasons that the IDF chose Auto Truck Group was reliability. “They liked having a supplier they could rely on,” said Jim Rudy, regional sales manager for the Auto Truck Group.

Rudy described the company’s relationship with the IDF as “collaborative.” Rudy and several members of the Auto Truck Group team met with the IDF fleet team in Israel when the project was getting underway. “The IDF fleet managers are a really interesting group of guys. They’re very educated engineers; most of them have master’s degrees,” he said.

The upfit vehicles are completed at the Auto Truck Group headquarters in Bartlett, Ill., and then shipped to Israel out of Maryland. “This is a good export project for us,” Rudy said.

Auto Truck Group and the IDF have a five-year agreement for the U.S. company to supply upfit vehicles to the military organization.

By Chris Wolski