At Lee-Smith, we're always looking for ways to better serve businesses. That's why we're excited to highlight our sister company Idealease. Idealease was designed to meet the needs of businesses that may not own their own trucks. Keep reading to learn more about how Idealease works and the benefits of renting or leasing.


For businesses that need a commercial truck but do not want to purchase one upfront, renting is usually the right solution. A commercial truck rental allows you to utilize the vehicle for a short period in exchange for paying a higher daily cost or monthly cost. Keep in mind that the total cost will vary drastically based on the type of truck you are renting and the use of the truck. 

Ultimately, a truck rental is a short-term agreement between you and Idealease allowing you limited use of their vehicle. 

Renting can be a beneficial option for businesses that need access to a commercial truck for an upcoming short-term job. The following are all benefits of a commercial truck rental rather than a lease:

  • Flexible Options: Rentals are best for short-term or project-based use with common rental contracts ranging from six to twelve months, however, some may be one to two days.

  • No Major Upfront Investment: While rentals do require a deposit upfront, renting a truck does not require the renter to make a long-term investment decision. This makes it a good choice when capital is tight.

While renting is a great fit in certain situations, there are some points to consider when choosing a commercial truck rental. The following are all things to keep in mind when deciding between a lease or a rental agreement: 

  • Expensive over the Long Term: While a commercial truck rental is a good short-term choice, it is not ideal for long-term use (3 years). The monthly rental costs can add up quickly, making a lease or purchase a better choice for ongoing use.

  • No Equity Built: When you rent a truck, you will not receive back any of the money you put into the truck.

  • Limited Use: In some cases when renting you may run into availability issues, since the vehicles are first come first serve, if you have a last-minute job, the situation could arise that a vehicle isn’t ready immediately.

Idealease Short & Long Term Rental

Our Differentiators 

  • Idealease offers a wide variety of industry-leading international trucks and truck specs that are dependable and well-maintained. In order to adhere to current FMCSA regulations, Idealease rental trucks may feature electronic logging devices.

  • With nearly 50,000 trucks running nationwide, Idealease helps you meet your customers’ expectations. We can provide the appropriate rental truck for the job and offer daily, weekly or monthly rentals. Our rental fleet includes: Day cab, sleeper tractors, dry straight trucks, refrigerated straight trucks, light duty, stake body trucks, and specialized equipment (yard spotters, wet line kits, and more) 

  • You also have access to Idealnets 24/7 breakdown service when using our rental.

Ease of Doing Business 

  • The Idealease North American Rental Program is our seamless and cost-effective solution for larger fleets. All insurance documentation, credit approval, and service requirements are issued with your rental account from our corporate headquarters so you get a consistent, guaranteed rate structure and coordinated rental services at Idealease locations throughout America.



A hybrid between purchasing a commercial truck and renting it, leasing is a great option for those who need the vehicle for long-term use, but do not have the means to purchase the truck outright. 

According to, the average commercial truck lease payment is anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per month. Compare this to the daily cost of a rental over a month, and you are saving a lot of money that can be used elsewhere in your business.

Remember, the cost of a lease will be highly dependent on the type of vehicle buildout and equipment being leased, as well as your credit score, the lease terms, and current interest rates. 

A major difference between leasing and renting a commercial truck is that many lease agreements come with the option of a lease to own. Lease to own allows you to build equity in the truck over time, with the option to purchase the remainder of the truck at the end of the lease agreement. In contrast, a rental will never allow you to build any equity in the vehicle. 

Idealease Full Service Lease Includes

Improved cash flow 

  • No down payment required.

Fixed and Guaranteed maintenance costs

  • Lowest life cycle costs on a consistent monthly basis

  • All predictable maintenance parts and labor

  • Comprehensive preventive maintenance program.

  • All predictable tire repair and replacement.

No Disposal Concerns

  • Return the vehicle at the end of the term, and replace it with a new truck or tractor.

Idealnet 24/7 Roadside Assistance

  • Trained Idealease staff answer calls ’live’ 24/7

  • 1-800-ID LEASE helps drivers deal with vehicle breakdowns, lock-outs, emergency permits requirements, fuel or hazmat cleanups.

  • Idealease service network has more than 430 locations and 34,000 truck stops, tire repair centers, and service stations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico

Priority Service

  • Receive priority service at more than 430 locations.

  • Your vehicle will receive immediate service in priority service bays where expert technicians are ready to diagnose and repair issues if a mechanical failure occurs.

  • Idealease customers have experienced over 98% vehicle uptime since 2005.

Fuel Tax Reporting and Fuel Purchasing Programs

  • Idealease fleet services provide efficient vehicle licensing, legalization, and U.S. fuel tax reporting. Our Idealease Fleet services fuel card eliminates most of the paperwork for tracking, trip reports, and fuel tax receipts. The card is accepted at more than 43,000 fueling locations in North America, and it has no transaction fee.

For some businesses, a truck lease is the best solution. The following are all benefits of the option for a commercial truck equity lease:

  • Lease to Own: Many leasing options offer the opportunity to lease to own. This allows you to slowly build equity in the vehicle, with an option to purchase the truck at the end of the agreement. 

  • Less Money Down: Unlike buying a commercial truck, leasing often requires little to no money down, making it a great choice when capital is tight but you need a longer-term solution than renting. 

  • Better Pricing for Long-Term Use: Compared to renting, leasing is usually a more affordable option when needing long-term or regular use.

  • Access the Newest Fleet: Leasing allows you to access the latest models of commercial trucks on the market. Unlike purchasing a truck outright, which often limits what inventory you can afford, leasing makes newer makes and models accessible.

While leasing a truck has its benefits, there are also a couple of questions to consider before signing on the dotted line:

  • How long your company has been in business: Idealease requires at least 2 years of business history to enter a leasing agreement, renting may be the best option to build credit if you haven’t been in service two years.

  • Credit Requirements: Leasing does require a credit check. This can be a limiting factor for those with poor credit scores. However, it is worth noting that, in the case of commercial trucks, Idealease rental agreements also require a credit check.

  • Long-Term Commitment: A lease is a longer-term commitment than a rental. For people doing occasional jobs or one-time jobs, this may not be ideal.

  • Waiting Period: A leased truck often requires time to be designed and delivered, this can take quite a bit of time, the timeline can be 6-18 months currently.

One Last Word

For more information about Idealease, visit Our team is also here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 423-622-2141. 

Posted by Lee-Smith

At Lee-Smith, we are always looking for innovative ways to serve our customers better. That is why we are excited to introduce our new Mobile Service Division! The goal of our Mobile Service Team is to increase Uptime for our customers by performing a variety of repairs at their locations. Our Lee-Smith Team understands that time is money. The amount of revenue lost increases with every passing minute that a commercial vehicle is out-of-service. By using our Mobile Service options, fleets can return to the road quickly while receiving feedback directly from our technicians in the field. This service reduces the need to tow a vehicle or utilize time and resources to move a unit to our repair facility in downtown Chattanooga. This service is also available at no additional cost compared to our in-shop rates!

What Services Does the Mobile Service Division Provide?

Each member of Lee-Smith's Mobile Service team has over 15 years of experience. Our highly-skilled technicians can perform a multitude of onsite repairs ranging from heavy-duty overhauls to light-duty repairs. We can travel to rural locations in North Georgia and Alabama, or operate locally at a fleet's headquarters in the Tennessee Valley. Our team is certified in International, Isuzu, Eaton, Allison, Caterpillar and Autocar. Additionally, each technician can perform warranty repairs on all Cummins engines, regardless of the make and model of the truck. We currently have four fully operational mobile service units and are in the process of adding more. Our technicians can schedule a time to work on a truck that is convenient for both the driver and fleet owner.

Introducing Lee-Smith's Mobile Service Division Team

Meet Mary

Meet Doug

Meet Don

Meet Ben

Meet Brandon

One Last Word

Our mobile service division is not a roadside service, but an onsite service professional. This cost-effective solution will minimize downtime to keep a fleet up and running, saving time, and satisfying customers. To learn more or begin using this service, visit our website, or call 423-622-4161 and ask to be connected to "Mobile Service."

We appreciate fleet owners trusting us to get their teams back on the road in a timely manner. 

Posted by Lee-Smith

Hello spring, and hello tornado season. Although tornadoes can pop up anywhere at any time, they are quite common during the months of March through May in the Southern part of the United States. For truck drivers, spring storms can cause numerous challenges on the road. At Lee-Smith, we want every truck driver to always make it home safely. To help make this happen, we’ve put together a list of tips to help drivers safely navigate spring’s severe weather. 

Preparation is Key

No matter the season, it is important to have an emergency kit in your truck just in case you find yourself in a serious weather situation. The National Weather Service says your kit should include a blanket, flashlight with batteries, non-perishable food items, water, first aid supplies like bandages and alcohol wipes, a NOAA weather radio, a change of clothes, a fire extinguisher, and a dust mask. Every day before you hit the road, check the weather forecast for your route. Keep in mind that tornadoes can occur at any hour, but they are most common between 4 pm - 9 pm. Night tornadoes are especially dangerous since you cannot easily see them. We encourage fleet owners to make a severe weather plan for their team so that their drivers know what to do if they will be traveling in an area where bad weather is forecasted. 

Know the Difference: Watch vs. Warning 

Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning? The best way to remember what sets these two apart is to picture a taco. With a tornado watch, you have all of the ingredients to build your taco, but you haven’t done so yet. In other words, all of the ingredients needed for a tornado spin-up are there. Drivers traveling in areas where a tornado watch has been issued need to stay alert and listen to a weather radio for updates. We also recommend that drivers stay in communication with dispatch because they will be able to provide additional information. If a tornado warning is issued, the taco has been assembled and is ready to eat. In weather terms, a warning indicates that a tornado has been spotted.

Tornado Warning Safety

Being on the road when a tornado warning is issued can be frightening. Drivers need to take immediate action for their safety. The best-case scenario is for a driver to find shelter in a FEMA storm shelter or a well-built building like a hotel, restaurant, or truck stop. Some buildings are also built with a storm shelter. However, if you are in a location that does not have one, then go to a room on the lowest floor that is away from windows. For drivers who cannot find shelter, there are a few other options. In a worst-case scenario situation, riding out the storm in the lowest part of a ditch can save your life. Make sure to cover your head with your arms to protect yourself from flying debris. We do not recommend staying in your truck. However, if you cannot safely leave your truck, then squat down on the floor and cover your head.

What Not to Do

You may think that an overpass or tunnel is a good place to ride out a tornado, but it is actually extremely dangerous to be in either of these locations. Since both are open-air structures, the winds will be stronger. You will also be more susceptible to flying debris. Avoid parking your truck under an overpass as this can pose a problem for emergency vehicles that need to get through. Also, do not try to outrun a tornado. This weather phenomenon is unpredictable and can switch directions in the blink of an eye. If you can see that the tornado is far away in the distance and the traffic around you is not heavy, NOAA says you may be able to drive to safety by driving at right angles away from the tornado. However, this can be risky. 

One Last Word

No one wants to find themselves on the road during a tornado warning. However, in the event that you do, please take extra precautions to stay safe. We want you to make it back home to your family. If your truck sustains any damage during a storm, our Collision Center team is here to help. Give us a call at 423-648-6434 or visit our website for more information. Please stay weather alert and safe while on the job this spring!

Posted by Lee-Smith