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The pristine New South Wales’ South Coast has no shortage of beautiful, luxury homes under construction. Within this abundance of ingenuity and architectural excellence, Smartbuild South Coast can lay claim to building some of the very best.

Jake Brady is the founder and director of Smartbuild, a construction and renovations company covering the Shellharbour, Illawarra, South Coast and Wollongong areas.

“We specialise in architecturally designed, custom-built homes,” Jake said. “We can complete any project, from a nice new beach house to a major renovation.

“I established the business in 2012 because I wanted to offer a service the Illawarra region lacked.

“We concentrate on the custom design aspect of construction, which a lot of businesses don’t have the expertise to offer.

“Applying skilful designs and sticking to our plans means we provide a very personal service to our clients.”

As easy as Jake may make it look, running a construction company servicing such an in-demand location doesn’t come without competition, or expectation.

For any tradie who thinks their boss has it easy, Jake’s daily schedule suggests otherwise.

“My average day consists of project management,” Jake said. “This involves travelling from site to site, keeping all the tradies on their toes and making sure they’re all doing the right thing.

“Then I run around finding new clients and quoting jobs – while constantly liaising with the existing ones – before returning to the office to file paperwork and get the books in order.”

Considering Jake’s commitment to his business, it’s no surprise that when looking for a work vehicle, Jake would only settle for the very best.

In this spirit he bought an Isuzu NLR 45-150 to take his business to “the next level.” (no pun intended).

“The NLR is an awesome truck,” Jake said. “I should have bought one years ago,”

“I have a top-of-the-range work ute but it gets trashed and can’t handle the loads that I need it to. My business has outgrown it in every way.”

The NLR’s 4,500 kg GVM rating means it can be driven on a standard car licence, while its 110 kW @ 2,800 rpm and 375 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,800 rpm ensures it still has the serious grunt that’s expected from Australia’s highest-selling truck manufacturer.

“The Isuzu has even more features than my ute, which I find a bit crazy,” Jake laughs.

“The Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) makes it so easy to drive. It’s smooth through the gears and the truck has a really comfortable cab, so my workers are constantly raving about it.

“To be honest, it’s probably more comfortable than my ute as well.”

“I love that it’s an AMT but you can do the manual switch if you’ve got a full-load and need that extra power, it works seamlessly.

“Even though sometimes I’d prefer to be driving the truck, my workers have it now so if I’m not on site they’ve always got everything they need.”

The NLR’s (AMT) has both clutchless manual and fully automatic operation modes, ensuring the ultimate in flexibility for business owners among their driving workforce.

This is in addition to an advanced array of safety features, including Isuzu Electronic Stability Control (IESC), which can automatically detect and help correct an unexpected loss of control, Anti Skid Regulator (ASR) traction control and Anti-lock Braking (ABS).

“Isuzu’s safety rating was an important part of my decision to buy one,” Jake said. “I used the star-rating to check out all the competitors and Isuzu stacked up the best,”

“The NLR’s tight turning circle is my favourite aspect though, it’s just another way that driving it feels like driving a car.

“The truck makes it so easy to pick up and drop off materials. It’s usually full of tools and picking up loads, but it spends the rest of its time just sitting there looking pretty.

“Plenty of the guys on our worksites have Isuzus and I’d heard nothing but good things about them,” Jake continued.

“So when I was looking for a truck I went straight to Dwyer’s Truck Centre in Wollongong. After driving one for myself, I thought it was unreal – I bought it then and there, on the spot.

“Give it another couple of years and I’ll be down there to buy more.”