This week at the National Truck Equipment’s Association show in Indianapolis, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America introduced Isuzu’s first all-electric production model, the N-Series EV will be available in the first half of 2024. In addition to being all-electric, the 2025 N-Series EV features an all-new cab design, plus many other exciting features. As a Class 5 truck, the N-Series EV has a 19,500-pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) so that drivers can tackle a wide variety of work truck demands. As our customers continue to express interest in electric-powered trucks, we felt it was important to provide you with additional information about what you can expect to help you decide if this model is right for you.

The Battery: Four Options to Fit a Fleet’s Needs

For the N-Series EV, Isuzu worked to find a way that they could meet the needs of different customers. They know that some do a lot more driving than others at one time and therefore need longer battery life, while others can get everything they need to do done without traveling far at all. That’s why this model will feature four battery capacity options. Options will include three-, five-, seven-, and nine-battery-pack configurations. Vehicle range will be increased the more battery packs you have, with the maximum range estimated at 235 miles. The truck can be charged using both AC and DC charging ports. Charging times vary based on the type of port you use. For AC Level 2 charging, it will take between 5.5 to 10 hours to reach a full charge. Charging time is much faster with DC Fast Charging. With this port, drivers will be able to reach a full charge within 1 to 2.5 hours. Also, these battery packs are lithium-ion batteries, so they will last longer and not require as much upkeep as lead-acid batteries. Check out the chart below for a breakdown of battery capacity, wheelbase, and mileage range based on the number of battery packs.

(Source: Isuzu)

The Exterior Cab 

Isuzu will be introducing drivers to a redesigned cab with the release of the N-Series EV. The company announced that the cab will feature a “Cross Flow” design. “Designers worked to create a look that would cheat the wind while maintaining an unmistakable Isuzu identity,” the company said. What exactly does it mean for a vehicle to have a “Cross Flow” design? Well, drivers can expect the cab to be more aerodynamic meaning it will be both quieter and more efficient. Plus, the exterior cab will feature a new grille designed to direct the flow of air around all sides of the cab. Don’t worry, though, Isuzu’s new grille will still feature the company’s iconic “smile” theme. Equipped with a new headlamp assembly and a front bumper that “improves cooling performance while reducing repair costs,” the exterior of this cab is a driver’s dream.

The Interior Cab

Isuzu says the interior cab was designed to provide comfort, convenience, and safety. To make things more comfortable for drivers, Isuzu changed the position and angle of the steering wheel. They did this to make driving more comfortable for a variety of drivers and to make the steering wheel easier to handle. The truck is also designed with three-across seating and a driver’s seat armrest.  When it comes to convenience, this truck has everything a driver needs to get the job done. Thanks to advancements in technology, this truck features a Multi-Informational Display, audio system, cruise control, hands-free phone calling, and more. Of course, it is equipped with safety features like seatbelts and driver and outboard frontal passenger airbags. There are additional features that can be added to the truck too to make it fit your unique needs. The optional Advanced Driver Assistance System features automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning system, distance alert system, forward vehicle start notification, and full-range adaptive cruise control (ACC). 

One Last Word

As you can see, the Isuzu N-Series EV is loaded with hi-tech features that fit the trucking industry in today’s day and age. Our team knows you probably have more questions about this truck, and we’re happy to help. Just give us a call at 423-622-4161. You can also view the brochure for this new truck by clicking here. We can’t wait to get the 2025 N-Series EV on our lot next year so that you can check it out in person. 

Posted by Lee-Smith

In this month of love, we’re going to show some love to brakes! Whether you love air drum brakes or air disc brakes, we think it’s important to know the differences between the two. By knowing what sets the two apart, you’ll be able to make a more informed buying decision. 

Air Drum Brakes

Let’s start with traditional drum brakes. Most of the main brake components mount to the spider assembly, which is mounted to the axle of the vehicle. When the brake pedal is depressed, air travels from the foot valve to the brake chamber, which is converted to a mechanical force causing friction between the shoe and the drum. There are four main components of an air drum brake system: brake shoe, brake drum, brake chamber, and spider assembly. The overall concept is simple; however, reassembling these components during a brake service can be complex and somewhat time-consuming due to the number of moving parts.

Air Disc Brakes

Air disc brakes function very similarly to drum brakes with a few different components. The five main components of an air brake system are the foot valve, brake chamber, caliper, brake pads, and rotors or discs. In an air disc brake application, shoes and drums are being replaced with discs and pads. The disc brakes get their stopping force from a caliper clamping the brake pads against a steel disc or rotor. Air disc brake systems have fewer moving parts compared to the drum brake system making them easier to service. 

Air Drum Brakes vs Air Disc Brakes?

The question now is: which is the better option for your fleet? At the end of the day, air drum brakes and air disc brakes both deserve love! While both of these brakes use the same principle of friction to stop a vehicle, there are noticeable differences between the two. When looking at the stopping distance, air disc brakes take the cake on this one by stopping anywhere from 17% to 33% shorter than drum brakes. This difference in stopping distances can reduce liabilities and the risk of accidents. Now looking at the difference in the longevity of these brakes, air disc brakes again come out on top by lasting nearly twice as long compared to traditional drum brakes. This duration gives you less downtime in the shop and more time on the road. Additionally, the air disc brake system is easier to perform maintenance on in terms of replacing pads. Whether you love one more than the other, our Lee-Smith team is here to answer any questions you may have and help you make the right choice for your fleet. 

Posted by Lee-Smith

Truck and delivery drivers, did you make any “New Year’s Resolutions” for 2023? At Lee-Smith, we’re resolving to do our part to help you get the job done. This includes providing you with the service and parts you need and the high-quality customer service you deserve. However, there’s another component to this that is just as important. We take it upon ourselves to remind each of you to take care of yourself. For this month’s blog, we’ve put together a list of resolutions to help you focus more on your personal well-being this year.

The Research 

Before we go any further, we want to talk about “the why” behind our reason for creating this list of resolutions for truck drivers. Our team understands that when you’re busy working to get a delivery to its destination, it can be easy to push your needs to the side. Unfortunately, you may actually be doing more harm than good. The Centers for Disease Control has published a list of the major health concerns that truck drivers often face. The CDC says that compared to people who work in other occupations, truck drivers are twice as likely to smoke and struggle with obesity. Both of these can lead to serious health conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. However, by making the necessary changes now to live a healthier, happier life, you can lower your risk of chronic illness. 

Resolve to Stay Active

Make finding time to exercise a priority. Being physically active is very beneficial for your mind and body. CDC experts say that regular exercise helps improve brain health, strengthens your body, assists with weight management, and lowers your risk of disease. The goal is to get 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. However, this is not always possible on the road. Don’t let this discourage you though. Instead, we encourage you to get creative. For instance, you can take 10-15 minute walks when you stop for breaks. You can also carry small exercise gear like dumbbells, a jump rope, and resistance bands with you in your truck. Finding an accountability partner can also be beneficial. Whether it’s another truck driver or a family member, they can help you stay on track. 

Resolve to Eat Healthily

Is eating healthily while on the road easy? Not always. Is it possible? Absolutely! The key is to plan ahead. Pack healthy snacks like almonds, protein bars, whole grain pretzels, crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, and dried fruit. You can also pick up items that are not as easy to travel with and keep fresh at truck stops. These items include fresh fruit, low-fat cheese, tuna, yogurt, and lean lunch meats like turkey and ham. Also, try to avoid eating lots of ultra-processed foods like potato chips, fast food, candy, etc. Don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. 

Resolve to Stay Connected

Being away from family and friends is never easy. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to stay in touch with loved ones. Truck driving can be a lonely occupation, but we want to help change that. A 2012 study found that close to 30% of truck drivers surveyed struggled with loneliness. Please make time every day to call your loved ones. Thanks to applications like FaceTime and Zoom, you can talk to family members face to face even when you’re miles apart. Also, don’t be afraid to make friends with other truck drivers you meet along the way. You could make that person’s day just by saying hello and carrying on a conversation with them.

Resolve to Get Enough Rest

Your body needs sleep to function. The CDC says that adults need to get 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. When your body is sleep-deprived, fatigue can become a real issue. We recently put together a list of tips to help truck drivers combat drowsy driving and fatigue. You can check it out here. Also, check the labels on medications like allergy and cold medicines before taking them since drowsiness can be a side effect. 

Resolve to Take Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health is an important topic that we don’t talk about enough. The same 2012 study we referenced above also found that 27% of the truck drivers they surveyed struggled with depression. Today, finding someone to talk to if you are feeling depressed is easier than ever. Many providers now offer telehealth services so that you can talk to a counselor from wherever you are in the world. Another way you can cope is by spending some time outside in nature. Studies have found that being out in nature can help you relax and increase your focus so that you’ll feel refreshed when you get back on the road. 

One Last Word

It is truly our honor to serve you at Lee-Smith. Truck and delivery drivers, you all are the reason that our world is able to function the way it does. Please remember to take care of yourselves. As always, you’re welcome to relax in our customer lounge any time you stop by. We have recliners and lounge chairs, coffee, a TV, and a washer and dryer that are available for you to use. We can’t wait to see you next time you stop by. 

Posted by Lee-Smith