JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

Some Trailer FAQs – and Answers – from the Trailer & Hitch Experts

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When it comes to trailers – and many other things – there’s no such thing as a dumb question! Very often, safety is compromised because drivers don’t ask enough questions. Below, answers to some of commonly-asked trailer questions along with answers. We hope these will help new trailer owners as well as experienced haulers.

How often do I need to tighten my lug nuts? When beginning to use a new trailer, or after replacing a hub, we caution our customers to check and tighten their lugs, and check again and tighten again. New trailer owners and those who have recently had a hub replaced should check and tighten lug nuts at 25, 50, and 100 miles and then every 100 miles for the first 500 miles. Over time, lug nuts are something you need to check on and make sure they maintain the proper torque. Venture Trailer has a great article on its website.

Why do I need to repack my bearings?  Quite simply, bearings keep your wheels rolling. They’re truly unsung parts – and your trailer (and all its loads) depend on them. Dirt and water get into bearings under normal road conditions, so a regular clean and repack is advisable, but “how often” depends on how you use your trailer. Dexter Axle recommends cleaning and repacking bearings every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or every 2 years, whichever comes first.  It’s not complicated, but it’s messy. Many of our landscaping customers schedule it as part of regular pre- or post-season trailer maintenance.

How long do trailer tires last?  That’s a loaded question, for several reasons! For one thing, the answer depends on the loads you carry – as well as the roads you haul over, your driving style and average speed, climate, type of tires, and more. Generally speaking, trailer tires should be replaced every 5 years regardless of mileage of tire wear. Even if you don’t use your trailer often and you never load it to its maximum capacity, at some point, your tires need to retire. (Heh-heh. Trailer humor…no extra charge.)

How can I avoid trailer tire dry rot? By keeping your tires protected from the sun as much as you can. (Yes, we sell trailer tire covers.) Unfortunately, in time, dry rot happens. But there are a few other things you can do about it.

Which is better for my trailer – bias or radial tires? That’s a good question, with no simple answer. The bottom line is, either is fine, but it’s important to understand the difference. And, it’s even more important to use special trailer tires – despite many who say “passenger tires are fine,” they’re really not as safe, particularly at highway speeds.

How can I prevent corrosion on my boat trailer lights? Those poor lights! Out of sight, out of mind, and in the water so much of the time! The easiest answer: get submersible lights. Don’t have ’em? We’ve got ’em, but if you’re not ready to replace your boat trailer lights, don’t worry – there are several ways to you can protect them and help your trailer lights last longer.

What’s the best trailer for landscaping? The only way to answer that is to know what your landscaping jobs entail. Do you need an enclosed cargo trailer so you can lock up your tools and equipment? A ramp door that can support your Kabota Tractor? Or a dump? Call us when you’re considering a new landscape trailer. We’ll run through your requirements and get you the trailer you need. As for timing, there’s a simple answer: If you want it for next spring, the best time to order is EARLY in the year.

I want to start a snowplow business, what do I need to know? Well, you need a plow… and customers…some nice gloves…an alarm clock… maybe you should read Meyer’s helpful article for folks considering the snowplow business. Looking to finance a plow? We can help you with that.

What’s up with the price difference on these two trailers? They look identical!  Many “little” details make a big difference in trailer performance, from brakes (surge, electric, or none) to load capacities to reinforced gates to LED lights. Questions? Ask us. We’ll help you make sure you get the features, and the trailer, you need.  

Do you sell trailer tires? Yes, radial and bias in virtually every size common to trailers, campers, and related stuff that rolls. The tires we stock are listed on our website, and we can special order any tire or tire/wheel combo you need for your trailer.

Do you sell automobile tires? No. They’re different animals; sorry.

Do you sell boat batteries? Yes, we carry some of the most popular batteries, by Interstate.

Do you make axles? You betcha! We’re really good at it, too. We make both spring and torsion axles. Spring axles usually require a 24-hour turnaround time; torsion axles 48 hrs. Why do we say we’re good at it? Our main man has more than 30 years experience, and he’s shared it with some young guns who do a great job, too. Oh, and our customers agree.

I need to rent a trailer. What do you have, and why should I rent from JTI? Our rental trailer inventory is diverse – from open car haulers to dumps – and we don’t work on commission. Our goal is to get you the trailer you need that’s best suited for your vehicle. Our team members will help you find the correct trailer for the job and get the trailer hooked-up to your vehicle properly. Also, we’ve noticed that our trailers are generally in better condition than those the chains rent, but hey, we don’t rent their stuff 😉 One note: we do not rent trucks; just trailers.

More questions? Please contact us!
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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Got a trailer or hitch question? It’s not rocket science, but towing is a rather specialized art. We’ve been answering trailer and hitch questions since 1935. Please, keep asking!! We’re here to answer.

Stop in or call us, 6 days a week, at 440.232.4311. We’re open in Oakwood Village Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, and Sat 8am-2pm.

Author: JTI Trailer & Hitch Experts

JTI is John's Trailers Inc., Cleveland's trailer experts since 1935. Our blog offers trailering tips, service, maintenance, and advice regarding trailers, hitches, and all related equipment (including snow plows).

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