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As consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce for all their shopping needs, speedy fulfillment and distribution is now the only expectation of every online shopping experience. And if logistics companies and their retail partners want a well-oiled supply chain to increase parcel volume, expedite deliveries, and delight customers, they would also need satisfied professional truck drivers who will move these goods where they need to be.

Indeed, driving trucks can be a tough job, with long hours and huge distances to cover. It’s a field ripe for some levels of automation, especially here in the Philippines, as this could potentially reduce the stress for those doing long distance driving or making house-to-house deliveries.

Last Friday, Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC)’s introduced a version of the N-Series called the Smoother, which is the company’s first light duty truck installed with an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) technology.

Welcoming the arrival of the N-Series Smoother is IPC president Koso (3rd from left) who is joined by (from left) Yasuhiko Oyama, VP for Sales; Shojiro Sakoda, EVP; Joseph Bautista Division Head for Sales; and Robert Carlos, head of Product Planning Department

Best business solution

“Being the number 1 truck brand in the country, Isuzu’s success comes from working closely with our customers, assessing their every need, and coming up with the best business solutions in every step of the way. In the Philippines, trucks are maximized and utilized almost at 24/7 operations. And with the increasing demand for delivery, especially in logistics, truckers deal not just with the increase in their operation expenses, particularly fuel and maintenance, but also the need for more professional drivers which has become quite a problem. So, we thought, why not make our next truck model, address all these challenges and more,”

Hajime Koso, IPC president

The AMT in the Smoother is an innovative intelligent gearshift system, which internally operates like a manual but shifts with computer-controlled actuators—options that are easier on drivers and equipment.

AMT technology

The N-Series Smoother’s AMT operates without the clutch pedal and achieves automatic shift change by computer control. Koso explained that the N-Series Smoother is easier to drive as the gearbox is designed like that of an automatic and has two pedals only. Newbie drivers can operate this truck with ease and will no longer  be bothered by things like matching the gear that they are driving into the speed or rate of acceleration they are driving at (rev matching).

This also means having an AMT offers less fatigue for drivers during long distance driving or when stuck in traffic.

2-pedal operation

Koso added that having an AMT equipped N-Series truck will result in good fuel efficiency, saving owners from high fuel expenses. “And because it has no clutch pedal, there is no need to spend on clutch maintenance.”

With the N-Series Smoother’s two-pedal operation, the driver does not need to worry about changing gears and can therefore focus on the driving environment. This should contribute to a safe driving environment.

6-speed AMT

The N-Series Smoother is powered by the 3.0-liter (4JJ1-TCC) turbocharged equipped with Blue Power technology and generates a maximum output of 122 horsepower and a maximum torque of 354 Nm. It is equipped with Isuzu’s latest transmission model, MYY6S, which is a 6-speed AMT. 

Cab tilt warning system

The one available here at the moment is the P1.6 million cab-and-chassis (NLR85) variant that has a GVW of 4,490 kg. This variant can be fitted with various body applications, turning it into a passenger van, aluminum van, refrigerated van, dump truck, fire truck, aerial platform, refuse collector, crane cargo, and tanker.

The N-Series Smoother also comes with added features that upgrades the truck driving experience such as tuner radio with USB, two speakers, charger port, cab power window, central door lock and cab tilt warning system. It also comes with a 3-year and unlimited mileage warranty.

For more information on the prices of optional extras like air-conditioning and rear bodies or accessories, drop by any Isuzu dealership nationwide, inquire in their official FB pages or visit www.isuzuphil.com. The N-Series Smoother is now available at all authorized Isuzu dealerships nationwide.       

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