JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

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Trailer Safety Inspection: Value & Peace of Mind

At JTI, we’re serious about safety. And we can prove it:JTI_logo+with Taglinelow

Our basic safety inspection starts at just $65 for a single-axle trailer. (Call us to quote on your double-axle or construction trailer.)

Avoid Accidents and Tickets with a 26-Point Trailer Safety Check

The Safety Circle Checklist includes a 26-point inspection, rating, and alerts about any potential problems with your trailer’s –

  • Coupler
  • Safety chains
  • Brake actuator and/or Electric Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Jack, Trailer Bed Jack and/or Dampener
  • Tongue Members
  • Front Cross Member
  • Front Clearance Lights & Reflectors
  • Tires (inspect the tread depth, age, condition of sidewalls and valve stems)
  • Wheels and Alignment
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Lights and reflectors
  • License (including bracket & plate)
  • Tailgate (where applicable)
  • Trailer Bed Flooring and Safety Latches

The trailer is inspected in 8 different positions. And you want to talk about value?

Keeping you, your crew, your equipment and everything you haul safe on the road is worth it, period. But for argument’s sake, let’s say it prevents you from getting pulled over for a busted tail light or malfunctioning turn signal. Instantly, you’ve saved more than twice the price by avoiding a ticket.

Let’s schedule your trailer Safety Circle check today.


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsPeople who depend on their trailers depend on JTI. ‘Nuff said. Call us at 440.2323.4311 or contact us online. We know trailers, and work 6 days a week to keep our customers rolling.  www.JTIinc.com

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So You Wanna Buy a Trailer: Getting the Right Trailer for the Job

Whether you’re new to hauling or looking to add a new trailer to your business fleet, the first thing to consider is not, what trailer should I buy? Rather, the question is, what do you need the trailer for?

Open Trailers, Construction Trailers, Utility Trailers

While open trailers can be lighter weight than enclosed trailers of the same size (and therefore less expensive) they also offer little protection for your cargo – from the elements and from theft.

Another consideration when shopping for an open trailer: they’re not all flat! Car haulers, deckover trailers and flatbeds come in different configurations, frame styles and with a variety of ramp options. The best way to make sure you’re getting what you need is to take a look at the trailer, live and in person, before you buy. 

Enclosed Trailers

Most landscaping contractors, home remodelers, and other businesses that need to protect expensive tools, equipment and supplies prefer enclosed trailers. There are many options on enclosed trailers that need to be carefully considered before purchase.

Doors are a major feature that can make or break trailer usefulness. Cargo doors, barn doors, and ramp doors are among the most common options. In many cases, trailers RackEmmanufacturers offer a side door or “man door” option, which is particularly popular with landscaping trailers.

After you buy an enclosed trailer, you may find that accessories and customizations make it even more useful.

Specialty Trailers, Custom Trailers

Boat trailers, car haulers and tow dollies are among the most-requested types of specialty trailers. Refer or refrigerated trailers are also in high demand, especially for food truck service businesses. Obviously, you need make sure your trailer is right for your job and your needs, it pays to remember that they’re trailers first, and you’ll want to keep it in good working order as long as possible to get the most out of your investment.

Work with a local business that knows trailers, hauling, and has a good relationship with a number of vendors and manufacturers. Cleveland RTA custom trailer

With specialty and customized trailers, in particular, experience in the trailer industry really matters. For example, here’s a custom trailer we outfitted to handle the very specific needs of a municipal agency. Read more about how we customized this enclosed trailer.

 

 

Trailer Details that Matter (Hint: They all matter!)

Trailer tongue length affects steering and stability. Taillights (are a critical safety component! and) need to be projected from the elements to remain in good working condition. Your trailer’s weight and intended use will typically dictate what type of braking system you’ll need. From axles and brakes to frame length, construction and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), myriad details about your trailer affect its performance, handling and reliability.

Trailer Service and Routine Maintenance

While regular service will help keep you and your trailer rolling and working hard, if you use your trailer, eventually, something’s going to break. We’ve been in the trailer business since 1935. In Cleveland, and throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, people who depend on their trailers depend on JTI.

 

JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsFinancing a Trailer?  Naturally, there’s the trailer you want, the trailer you need, and the trailer you can afford. At JTI, we offer several financing options, so our customers find they can get pretty close to satisfying all three of those things. www.JTIinc.com

Call us at 440.232.4311 or stop in our showroom Monday – Saturday to discuss your needs and find out how you can get rolling with the right trailer for you.

 

 


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Trailer Tires: Bias, Radial, & How You Should Roll

We proudly sell Kenda Karrier ST Radials and Load Star Bias Ply tires. And although having quality tires is important (your trailer is probably carrying some mighty valuable equipment) is always a good choice, the most critical things about your trailer’s tires are that they’re the right size and are in good condition.

See our list of in-stock and special order trailer tires

While most of our customers understand that passenger tires are not made for trailers, it bears repeating.

Passenger Tires Are NOT Made for Trailers

Your trailer isn’t a car. It handles heavy loads around corners, on rough roads, and often at highway speeds. We’ll spare you the physics lesson: the fact is passenger car tires put your load (and other drivers) at risk.

Trailer specialty tires (ST) typically have stiffer sidewalls than passenger tires, which handle trailer loads better and help with trailer handling (especially preventing or minimizing sway).

So What’s Better: Bias or Radial Trailer Tires?

Here’s the scoop: the better tire for you is the one that will best suit your needs and usual driving (hauling) habits. We rarely “just” sell a tire – like everything else regarding our customers’ trailers, we tend to ask a few questions to make sure they’re getting the right equipment. But, to answer the question in a nutshell:

Bias ply tires are generally less expensive than radial trailer tires. That doesn’t mean they’re inferior. Their construction is different. Bias ply tires have layers of nylon laid at 30-45 degree angles underneath the tire tread. They are ideal for people making short and/or infrequent trips with their trailers. Some bias tires have stiffer sidewalls than radial tires, which can be an advantage for certain hauling situations.

Radial trailer tires are what you want if your trailer is on the road for long trips. They tend to stay cooler (especially at highway speeds) and last longer. Radial tires are constructed with steel belts running at a 90 degree angle to the tire’s tread direction. Due to their construction, they have a longer tread life and are tougher overall.

In the Long Haul, Are Radial Trailer Tires Worth the Price?

Generally speaking radial tires last longer, have less rolling resistance (giving slightly better mileage). Bias tires have some specific advantages in certain cases, but for the less-frequent hauler, are often the better choice primarily because of cost.

Remember, trailers aren’t cars and what you know about passenger tires rarely applies to trailer tires.

For example, on a single-axle trailer, you really don’t need to rotate your tires. Rules regarding tire inflation and PSI are also a little different when it comes to trailers and trailer tires.

With 80+ years in the business, we think it’s safe to say we’re the trailer and hitch experts. If you have any questions regarding your tow vehicle and trailer, we encourage you to call us. We’re here to help, 6 days a week.

Related read: Avoid Trailer Tire Dry Rot

Also, learn more about Proper Trailer Load Balancing and Distribution

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts  www.JTIinc.com 440.232.4311


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Memorial Day in Cleveland

memorial_day_Post.jpgJTI will be closed on Memorial Day, to pause and remember those who have served our country and contributed to all that it is today.

We will also take advantage of the great freedoms we enjoy here, in this country and specifically in Northeast Ohio. The Metroparks are gorgeous, Lake Erie is a truly Great Lake, and we are grateful every day for the wonderful customers, co-workers, friends and family whose company we enjoy so much.

We wish you a peaceful, relaxing weekend. And, we’ll be open bright and early on Tuesday, so if your trailer, hitch, tires, axle, brakes or anything else needs attention, you know where to find us.

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts   www.JTIinc.com    440.232.4311


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Jumping Jack Tent Trailers ON SALE!

We’ve said it before & we’ll say it again. You can have a lot of #FunWithAHitch. But the Jumping Jack Tent Trailer is super-special. It’s a tent trailer built to last that can carry along all of your camping gear, a kayak or two, or a 4-wheeler or two, and then when you arrive, it turns into a comfy tent for four in about 5 minutes.

Got that? We’ll wait while you read it again. OR JUST STOP IN! It’s as good as it sounds, and right now we have two – JUST 2! – on our lot. They’re clearance priced because our regular trailer inventory is about to grow astronomically. So… if you want a great tent trailer at the best price you’ll see anywhere, COME SEE US NOW. These sweet Jumping Jack  tent trailers won’t last.

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See specs on our website – 6×8′ utility trailer turns into a sturdy, comfortable 5×8 tent – in just about 5 minutes. Stop in, let us show you how.

See our Facebook page for more ways you can have #FunWithAHitch.

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Trailers & Trailer Braking Essentials

Most states require brakes on trailers (at least trailers over 3,000 lbs gross weight) and brake controllers are also commonly required. Of course being in compliance with the law is important, but isn’t safe hauling your goal? We thought so. Read on.

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Trailer Brakes 101

While they type of braking system you’ll need depends on your trailer/tow vehicle combination, there are only two main types of brakes: Electric and hydraulic.

Electric brakes are essentially like the brakes on a vehicle (featuring disc or drum brakes) activated by the tow vehicle driver, with an electrical system (wiring) runs between the trailer and tow vehicle controlling brake function.

Key to set-up is making sure stopping action and delay settings are established to

Hydraulic surge brakes are different: they automatically apply braking pressure to the trailer whenever the driver slows the tow vehicle. (Sensors are triggered through wiring in the hitch.)

One important part of set-up and installation is making sure the braking actuator is properly in sync with tow vehicle operation. Setup must take into account trailer weight (including typical loads) and usual driving speed, as during braking, the trailer presses against the hitch and compresses the braking actuator.

Brake Controller Basics

The two primary types of brake are proportional brake controllers and time delayed brake controllers. (We sell and service both.)

Proportional brake controllers use sensors to determine tow vehicle speed (and specifically, stopping speed) to ensure the trailer stops at the same rate as the tow vehicle. Not only is it safe, it reduces wear on both the tow vehicle and the trailer’s braking systems.

Brake controllers typically come with a four-wire configuration (trailer feed, ground, brake switch and battery power) and many trucks and other common tow vehicles come with built-in wiring systems for brake controllers. That’s not to say it’s a “plug and play” situation – we see many built-in systems that require some adjustment. Those are typically very easy (inexpensive) fixes, but if there is any concern about the way your brakes are working on your trailer, we recommend making an appointment right away.

More Trailer Brake Info & Resources

  • Safe Trailer Braking: Get Smart, Get it Right   We work with some great manufacturers and distributors, and Curt Manufacturing deserves a special shout out for the excellent educational information it provides – not only to dealers and trailer service professionals, but also to trailer owners andtow vehicle drivers. Check out Curt’s Towing 101 info or head over to its YouTube user channel, and you’re on your way to better hauling.
  • Electric over Hydraulic Brakes: In a Boat Trailer? Although BoatUS acknowledges the idea of mixing water and hydraulics may sound “crazy” to many boat owners, many boat trailers in fact employ hydraulic brakes. Read more at the BoatUS site.
  • Trailer brake laws by state on the AAA site.

JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsWe’re here to keep our customers rolling – and to make sure they can stop safely. Contact us to troubleshoot your trailer brake system.  Call 440.232.4311 or request a service appointment or safety inspection online.


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Trailer Maintenance Tip: Fastener Facts & Why We Love Shackle Bolts

They may be small, but you shouldn’t ignore them: the right fasteners are important to your trailer’s operation, longevity, and can affect the safety of your load.

Small But Mighty Important: Trailer Fasteners

We’ve written before about how small, inexpensive things (like bushings) can end up causing a lot of aggravation and costing a lot of money. Fasteners are the same. We have hundreds of different nuts and bolts – including U bolts – couplers and other fasteners in stock, and regularly place special orders for specific trailer parts, including fasteners, to keep our customers’ trailers on the road and operating safely.

We try to provide as much customer education as we can, but sometimes, when we suggest a particular bolt that’s $1 or $2 more than another, we see a raised eyebrow and that “oh sure it’s the more expensive one” look.

Trust us, we won’t be retiring anytime soon by selling that $3 bolt. When we recommend a fastener that’s an extra buck or two, it’s well worth it.

Here’s why: basic nuts and bolts don’t lock down tight and stay locked down when used in typical over-the-road conditions. (And especially not when you’re pushing your speed or weight recommendations.) 

We Recommend Shackle Bolts for Most Trailer Applications

Shackle bolts are knurled and self-locking. They stay locked in, even as your trailer bounces along the road.

 

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Bolt Materials and Welding

We carry a variety of stainless and galvanized steel bolts and other materials. But in some cases, a weld is a better option than any fastener.

JTI’s experienced welders are here on premises 6 days a week. Between our hauling, mechanical, and welding experience, we can recommend the best options for your trailer.

Have questions for the trailer and hitch experts? Call or stop in. We love to talk about making hauling easier and safer for our customers and for everyone on the road.


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsWe’re not the only people who are a little bit nuts about nuts and bolts. If you know anyone in classic car restoration, you know they’re serious about fasteners too. What’s that? You know all about the nuts and bolts of classic cars? Did you know we rent and sell car haulers? We do! 440.232.4311