JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

Cargo and open trailer rentals


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Timeline: JTI in Cleveland, 80+ years

1935 

Johns Trailer Company was founded in Cleveland.cropped-vintage-jti-image-johnbw.jpg

Trailers and hitches were constructed in a 1,600-square foot building on Buckeye Road.Eliot Ness -Cleveland

Also that year, Elliot Ness became Safety Director of Cleveland. (He ran for mayor in 1947.)

 

 

 

1936

The year after Johns Trailer Company was founded, the Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland, the Cleveland Barons hockey team was established, and fluorescent lighting was introduced at NELA Park. We had nothing to do with any of that, but we think it’s cool. Oh, and Jesse Owens won four gold medals at Berlin Olympic Games. 

1954

You could get a complete hitch for about $5.

Hitch Price Sheet 1950s

1955 

Rapid Transit operation began in Cleveland. The Cleveland & Newburgh line operated along Euclid Avenue, from Public Square to Wade Park. 

1957

Trailer rentals were booming on Buckeye!

JTI-rental-19571960

Suburban sprawl was underway: Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Independence, North Olmsted, Richmond Heights, Strongsville and  Warrensville Heights all achieved city status.

Tow Bar - Old Towing TechnologyAlso in the early 1960s, JTI started tow bar manufacturing.

1970

Edward E. Agoston, Sr. took over the family business in the early 1970s.

1975

Johns Trailer Company became JTI.

The Miracle of Richfield was underway at the Coliseum.

1987

JTI moved into a new location in Oakwood Village.JTI Trailer-Ohio-shop

And we’re still here, open 6 days a week. Stop in to see us at 7400 Oak Leaf Road, right off of I-271 at the Forbes/Broadway exit.

1995

Cleveland_Browns_hire_Bill_Belichick_1264380000_2091908_ver1.0_640_480

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opened, the Indians won the American League championship, and Browns owner Art Modell announced he would move the team to Baltimore.

2001

Jane Campbell was elected as Cleveland’s first female mayor.

JTI began selling snowplows and snow management equipment.

Meyer Snow PlowToday, we proudly sell snow removal equipment from Meyer – another great Cleveland company!

2016

80+ years in business & still going strong! Come see why!


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsSee more tidbits from Cleveland’s history at the site maintained by CWRU; find a narrative description of JTI’s history in one of our April blog posts. Call us at 440.232.4311


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Your Business in 2016: Start it Right!

Many of our customer are business owners – Landscapers, Snow Removal Experts, Construction and Remodeling Professionals, to name a few. And we know that they know that the points in a recent article by Global Resources make a lot of sense. So we have two questions for you, Cleveland-area small (or not-so-small) business owners.

First, are you following this great advice? and second, what kind of positive changes do you anticipate in your business, and in the Cleveland business landscape, in 2016?

We’d love to hear from you. (In fact, if your business depends on trailers, we’d love to feature you in a future blog post.)

Please, leave your comments below.

Here’s to a great New Year!


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsPeople who depend on their trailers depend on JTI. Since 1935, we’ve been Cleveland’s Trailer & Hitch experts. Call us at 440.232.4311 or stop in to see why our customers have stuck with us for 80 years.


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RNC in Cleveland: Back to the Future?

You probably know that the Republican debate is held in Cleveland on Thursday, and the convention is coming next year. But did you know the Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland in 1936? That’s when party nominated Alf Landon as its presidential candidate.

Back to the Future in Cleveland

We’ve never hosted a political convention, but we’ve been in Cleveland since 1935 – a whole year before RNC hopeful Landon rolled into town. Johns Trailer Company, the precursor to the present JTI, Inc., was founded by John Agoston in 1935. The business was initially located in a 1,600 square foot building on Buckeye Road in Cleveland.

Today, well into the fourth generation of family ownership, JTI has seen a lot of candidates roll through town, and while each election seems to bring changes, technology and innovation has brought far more. Think about it – automobiles have evolved and so have hitches, tires and the whole business of hauling.

Debates and Decisions That Matter

We like what Thomas Suddes said in the Sunday Plain Dealer: Elections have consequences. Debates don’t. Certainly, the 2016 election will bring more changes. And we’ll be watching the candidates closely, trying to make the best decision come voting day.

Like all small business owners, we live with the consequences of our decisions every day. When we decide to work a vendor – whether it’s Atlas Specialty Trailers, Floe, Performance Trailer, or Meyer (right here in Cleveland!), we’re essentially “voting” for those manufacturers because we have confidence in their abilities and their track records.

We like to think the fact that we’ve been here 80 years indicates we’ve made some good decisions. But we’re not done! One of the mainstays of this business has always been innovation. So look for new products and services from us…and call us when you need to know about new solutions in trailers, hitches and hauling.

Seasons Change & So Do We

Since 1935, JTI’s roots have remained in the trailer business focusing on trailer sales, repair and maintenance, and some customization services here in Cleveland. JTI’s fabrication specialists make new and replacement trailer axles for individual consumers and commercial trailer customers, sell new and used trailers from Atlas, Carry-On, LoadRite and others, and maintain an extensive inventory of trailer components, parts, and towing accessories.

And, since the third generation of ownership expanded the business to include the sales, installation and service of snow and ice management equipment, we’re gearing up for snow season. The Meyer snow plow blades arrived last week, well ahead of the candidates. So if you’d like to cast your vote for safe and efficient snow removal this season, come meet us. We’d love to shake your hand and find out what’s on your mind. And don’t worry, we’re not into crazy campaign promises. Oh, OK. Maybe we’ll make just one: it’s Cleveland, and it’s bound to snow again.

Be prepared!

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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Stop in our showroom to see how we’ve rolled with the changes – and how we can keep you rolling!

We’re just off I-271 in Oakwood Village, and we love meeting our Cleveland neighbors.

www.JTIinc.com


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Focus on Innovations in NE OHIO

We’re proud to say we’ve played a part in Cleveland’s history, at least since 1935. But today we highlight the innovations of another Cleveland company and North Coast “neighbor.”

Innovation in Cleveland

innovation is on a roll – in Cleveland! Photo credit: Parker Hannifin/Forbes Magazine

Read the article in Forbes to learn more about some of Parker Hannifin’s latest innovations – including exoskeletal supports to help injured veterans and others walk again. The company isn’t new to innovations, of course.  From a role in getting the Spirit of St. Louis off the ground to a hydraulic system for sanitation trucks that cuts fuel costs by 30-50%, Parker has been pumping out some seriously cool products since 1918.

Interested in finding out about some of the newest innovations and improvements in trailers and hitches? You know who to call! _______________________________________________________________

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Need a trailer to keep your innovative business rolling? Contact us. We’ve been Cleveland’s Trailer & Hitch Experts since 1935. Call 440.232.4311, or connect on Twitter or Facebook.

Know some NE Ohio innovators we should highlight? Please tell us.

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www.JTIinc.com

CAM Superline dump trailer at JTI


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So You Wanna Finance a Trailer

When you need trailers to run your business, financing a new trailer probably makes sense. Many Cleveland-area landscapers, contractors, and even municipalities have found financing trailers helps them manage their cash flow and expenses.

Good Reasons to Finance Trailers or Equipment

  • Free Up Cash Flow – especially important in a seasonal business like landscaping, snowplowing, or pool maintenance, freeing up cash flow allows you to hire the employees you need to get the work done in Cleveland’s rapidly-changing weather.
  • Start Up Sooner, Not Later – Obviously, starting a business when you have no loans and several months’ worth of expenses in the bank is like a dream. Nice, but – hello Reality! When you’re ready to go into business and the market is ready for you, financing a new trailer or key piece of equipment may be the smartest move you can make.
  • Expand when Opportunity Knocks – seasonal work comes in waves, and like any surfer knows, you can’t tell a wave to wait for you. Financing a trailer, commercial salt spreader, or other equipment can allow you to be ready to handle new business when it’s knocking on your door.

New Trailers – Financing Options

JTI offers several options for financing new (and used) trailers and other equipment. In addition to traditional options, some JTI customers choose the EZ Pay/No Credit Check

Can You Finance a Used Trailer?

In a word, yes. Sometimes it makes sense to look for a used trailer, but often new is your best choice. That, however, is a topic we’ll cover at another time.

Can You Finance a Trailer for Fun?

Pop-up Tent Trailer with ATV

Jumping Jack Trailers = FunWithAHitch in Northeast Ohio

Of course! You can finance a lot of fun – and enjoy your toys sooner rather than later.  In fact, maybe the Jumping Jack Tent Trailer in the photo is giving you an idea right now…

Some of our favorite customer stories involve “Fun with a Hitch.” Ready to take your motocross hobby to the next level? Does camping with the family sound better than going to Disney? Would you like to spend weekends taking your boat to explore some of Northeast Ohio’s lakes and rivers?

if you’re dreaming of a seriously fun summer, but you could use a little financing to make those dreams reality, it’s time to find out about the options we offer.

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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Whether you’re starting or expanding a business in Cleveland or looking for ways to enjoy your hobbies even more, if financing a trailer would help, we hope you’ll call on us. Contact us at 440.232.4311, or connect on Twitter or Facebook.

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www.JTIinc.com

Trailers featured here include a CAM Superline Dump and the uber-fun Jumping Jack Tent Trailer (available in 4×6′ and 6×8′). What do you want to haul? We’ll help you get rolling.

White Atlas Cargo Trailer


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Sales Tips for Contractors, Landscapers, and Remodelers

These business/sales tips from The Remodeler’s Edge were written specifically for remodelers, but we think they’re perfect for Cleveland-area building contractors and landscapers, too. In any business, of course, understanding your customers’ needs, goals, and budget is the key to creating a long-term relationship. Let us know how these tips from Remodeler’s Edge work for you. And if you expect to be busy in the spring, contact us now to schedule pre-season trailer maintenance!

Shortening the Sales Cycle: 5 Tips to Help Remodelers Reduce the Time from Lead to Sale

By Matt White, owner, Jolt/Remodeler’s Edge

Are you frustrated with the typically long selling cycle in the remodeling industry? Would you like to stop wasting your time with unqualified prospects? Would you like to improve your overall close rate?  In this article, you’ll learn five simple ideas to increase conversion rates, decrease wasted effort and reduce the time it takes to go from lead to sale.

PEOPLE DON’T LIKE TO BE SOLD

Before we get into the five marketing ideas for remodelers, I want to make sure we’re clear on one core belief: people do not like to be sold.

Consumers are bombarded with marketing (sales) messages thousands of times every day. We are overwhelmed with ads on Facebook, commercials on TV, billboards as we drive, advertising on the radio…everywhere we go, we’re “sold” on something.

The remodeling industry is no different than the general population when it comes to this phenomenon. The individual looking to upgrade her kitchen is exposed to the same selling attitude everywhere she goes. In order to stand out from the sea of sameness – to rise above the marketing smack-down that most other remodelers follow – you have to act differently.

YOU HAVE TO HELP INSTEAD OF SELL

What people want is to be helped. They want to have their questions answered, their problems solved, their concerns dealt with.  And this is where these five helpful marketing tips for remodelers come into play.

1. Talk about money

talk about moneyPeople care about money. It is almost always on the top of their mind – even if budget isn’t the number one concern, your customer will still need to know how much the project is going to cost.

So, why wait to talk about it? Why not address it early on in the conversation?

Most of us were brought up to believe it’s not polite to talk about money, and we’ve carried that belief with us into adulthood. But, money is a big part of what you do; and whether you’re the most expensive guy in your market or you’re priced pretty competitively, money is going to come up.  We’ll talk more about money in following tips, too!

2. Use Online Quoting Tools

quoting toolsAlong with talking about money, as recommended in the first tip, this second suggestion is closely related. I realize for most this is a very scary topic, and putting pricing online is often considered a no-no in the industry. But, stick with me a minute…

I’m not asking you to quote a full project online without ever talking to a prospect. What I’m suggesting is that you provide more opportunities for your prospects to “self-qualify” prior to you having to spend time with them.

This can be as basic as a spreadsheet that shares average investment levels for kitchens of a certain size, including ranges for good, better, best. Or it can be as detailed as a fully automated calculator the prospect fills out in order to calculate a range based on her specific needs and wants.

The point here is to make it easy for your prospect to understand what’s involved when it comes to your price. There’s nothing more frustrating – either for you or your prospect – than to go through the entire quote/proposal process and find you’re not even close when it comes to budget.

3. Pre-Appointment Content

pre meeting content

Before your first appointment with the prospect, you have the perfect opportunity to set the stage – to define your process, to share your expectations, to define outcomes, etc. You are the expert, and this is where you have the biggest chance to stand out.

We call this pre-appointment content “homework” and it can make all the difference in the world. What we’ve found is that most remodelers have a similar “lead sheet” process, but it’s usually filled out DURING the first appointment, not before.

We suggest sending a set of questions to your prospect BEFORE your first meeting. Let’s pretend your homework form asked the following questions:

  • What made you decide to consider renovating your kitchen/bath/basement?
  • How long have you been thinking about this project?
  • What’s your budget?
  • When would you like to have the project completed?
  • Do you already have a design in mind?
  • What’s your biggest concern going into this project?
  • Who else, besides yourself, will be involved in making decisions?

Armed with this information, you will be able to make a few decisions prior to the call – 1) is this a good fit for your company, 2) should you reach out to the prospect to address a few concerns, or 3) is it in your and the prospect’s best interest if you cancel the meeting?

How does canceling a meeting help speed up the sales cycle? Well, if you don’t have to waste time on what would have been a bad meeting anyway, isn’t that getting you to a decision faster? And, for those you keep, there’s less chance of miscommunication and misunderstanding from the get-go, meaning less time between consideration and decision.

4. Promote Familiarity

familiarityI recently heard about a doctor who calls all his new patients the weekend before their initial visit. True story. The doctor will take a list home of the first-time patients who are on the schedule for the following week. He’ll take a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday to make a call to introduce himself, tell them he’s looking forward to meeting them, and ask if they have any questions before they come in.

Can you imagine getting that call? Talk about standing out from the crowd!

If you’re like most remodelers, you are likely one of a few companies your prospect is meeting with. How might you build familiarity with the prospect to show her you’re different than the others?

  • Place a call a day or two prior to the appointment
  • Send a link to a website page with your salesperson’s (or your) photo and quick story of why he loves the remodeling industry
  • Send an email with a link to a video of the salesperson (or yourself), making a brief introduction and sharing a little about himself

Create a connection before that first meeting by familiarizing the prospect with you and/or your team. It’ll go a long way.

5. Resolve Concerns Before & After the First Appointment

resolve concernsIf I had to guess, I’d say you could give me a list of common questions/concerns that come up almost every time you meet with someone new. How much will it cost? How long does it take? What’s your process? How do you manage subcontractors? Etc.

As with the money question in tip #1, why not address these questions/concerns before they even come up?

Come up with – or have your sales team come up with – the top ten questions you hear regularly during the sales process. Then, write a blog or create a short video addressing each one and post them on your website. Once these are created, you can use them throughout the sales process – send prior to a meeting as part of the homework or send as a follow up based on something that came up in the conversation.

When you answer her questions/concerns, you build trust with your prospect. Others may be able to answer on the fly, but when you can point to an existing piece of content, it shows your prospect she’s not alone…you’ve dealt with her concern before.

WHAT NEXT?

Did these tips resonate with you? If so, I hope you’ll take one or more and implement it in your own business.  If you’d like to learn more about effectively marketing your remodeling company, contact The Remodeler’s Edge. To make sure your trailers are ready to roll for spring season, contact us to schedule a pre-season maintenance and safety check. _______________________________________________________________________

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMWe thank Matt White of Remodeler’s Edge for permission to repost these helpful tips. If your business is blossoming and you need a new trailer, please let us know what would make your job easier. We’re here to keep you hauling! Stop in or call 440.232.4311 – and if you want, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.  _____________________________________________________________________


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Snowplow Q&A – Cleveland Snow Removal Business Questions 101

Meyer is our Cleveland snow plow supplier

JTI is an authorized Meyer snow plow dealer, and we’re happy to help Cleveland area snow removal business owners make the most of winter.

This time of year, we field a lot of questions about snowplows, blades, repairs, salt spreaders, and the snow removal business. Hey, that’s a day in the life of a Cleveland trailer and hitch (and snowplow) business.

Below, we’ve excerpted pieces of a very helpful FAQ list published by Cleveland’s own Meyer Products. Got other questions?  Looking for a salt spreader or some local trailer and hitch experts?  That’s what we’re here for – visit us or call 440.232.4311.

Choosing The Right Plow

How do I know if my vehicle is recommended for a snow plowing application?
Only vehicles that have the vehicle manufacturer’s snow plow prep package are recommended for snow plowing. GM uses the “VYU” option code. Ford uses the “86M” option code. Dodge uses the “AHH” or “AHD” option code. Plowing without the original Snow Plow Preparation Package may damage your vehicle, and the added weight to the equipment may impair the operation and control of the vehicle . Plowing with a vehicle that the manufacturer does not recommend for that purpose may void your new vehicle warranty. If your vehicle is not originally equipped with the Snow Plow Package, additional parts may be necessary before snow plowing. Owners of these vehicles should consult their dealers before purchase or installation of such parts. CAUTION: the installation, on any vehicle, of these parts is not a full substitute for the original equipment Snow Plow Preparation Package.

How do I select a plow best suited for my truck?
Downsized vehicles will use the TM, TMP or DP series snow plows. Examples of these vehicles include the Wrangler, Tacoma, Colorado/Canyon, Ranger, etc… 1/2 ton vehicles will use either the STL, ST, STP, DP or DPP series plows. These plows are for non-commercial/personal use only. 3/4 and 1 ton vehicles, or vehicles up to 17000 GVW, will use the C,CP, LP,LPP or AG series commercial snow plows. Vehicles 17000 to 27,000 GVW will use the HM or HMP heavy municipal series plows. Vehicles 27,000 to 33,000 GVW will use the RP series plows. Note: Meyer has a specific snow plow selector that is based on your exact truck model. Click here to search the plow or plows Meyer recommends.

Snow Plow Blades and Mountings

Will the mount from my old truck fit onto my new truck?
Mountings are designed specifically for a particular vehicle. Dodge, Ford and GM vehicles all have different frames. Each vehicle manufacturer may use the same frame for a number of years. You will need to use our EZ-Transfer tool.

Why is my cutting edge wearing unevenly?
The plow does not sit flat on the ground when fully angled. This will occur when the clevis height on the vehicle is not correct. The A-frame which connects from the plow to the vehicle must be level with the ground while the plow is sitting on the ground.

More Snow Removal Business Tips

Meyer’s FAQ list includes more information about the company’s product warranty, and why it’s important to work with an Authorized Meyer Distributor. At JTI, our experts are on hand Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm and Saturday from 8am to 2pm.  Since 1935, we’ve been Cleveland’s trailer experts, and we know a thing or two about snowplows and Cleveland winters too.  Contact us; we’re here to help.

We also have a large selection of Edge Eyewear, Youngstown Gloves, and accessories, supplies and tools our customers need – in all kinds of weather. #Staywarm, Cleveland. Spring is coming!
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JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsWinter isn’t a piece of cake in Cleveland.  It’s a piece of ice, snow, sunglare, freezing rain and busy roads with a cherry on top.  People who rely on their trailers (and snow removal equipment) rely on JTI.  Call us at 440.232.4311 or stop in to our Oakwood Village showroom, just off I-271 between Bedford and Northfield Village. _______________________________________________________________________________________________