JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

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Loading a Motorcycle in a Trailer

Wow, it’s been a busy spring and summer. Hope you’re having fun! We’ve spent some good times at Quaker Steak & Lube locations hosting Bike Nights in the past couple of months, talking to NE Ohio dirt bike, motocross, streetbike, chopper owners and motorheads, and we’ve been giving out a lot of advice. (And a few prizes.)

Before Loading Your Motorcycle in a Trailer

Some of these tips fall under the “well-duh” category, but they’re still  worth mentioning!

  • ALWAYS load when the trailer is hooked up!
  • Check for weight balance BEFORE loading your bike (or anything)
  • If you’re loading in an enclosed trailer, check door height before loading your bike!
  • PUT YOUR KICKSTAND UP AFTER LOADING, unless you’d like a hole in the trailer floor. (No kidding. We see these kind of things in for trailer repair all the time. File under, Don’t Be That Guy!)
  • CHECK FOR GREASE on the trailer floor. Missing a slick spot = unhappy surprise landings and unscheduled repairs – to you, your bike and your trailer.
  • Check air pressure and lug nuts and make sure your coupler and ball match.

Securing Your Motorcycle in a Trailer

The first most important thing to have, if at all possible, is someone to help you! You can load a motorcycle into a trailer by yourself, but it’s much better – for you, your bike, and your trailer – if you do it with someone else.

Basically, we recommend a four-point tie-down system, and one that does not compress the suspension too much.  (A lot depends on your bike, your trailer, and how you’re tying it down – call us if you’d like a demonstration: 440.232.4311)

Improper loading can result in broken springs, broken brackets, snapped cables on doors, and worse. (Good news – we can fix just about anything on a motorcycle trailer. Bad news – it usually means you’ll miss some good riding.)

A couple of good videos can be found online, and of course, you can always contact us, the trailer and hitch (and motorcycle-loading) experts, at JTI440.232.4311

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We’ll be at Quaker Steak & Lube in Valley View for Bike Night on July 19 and August 2 and at the Sheffield location for Bike Night on July 27 and August 17. Stop by, say hi, and enter to win some cool and helpful accessories for your bike. 

Did you know we have a couple of motorcycle trailers for rent? 

Sure do! Call to reserve – they’re often booked well in advance: 440.232.4311

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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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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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Weight Distribution Hitch set-up

We’ve talked about weight distribution when you’re loading a trailer. And it’s important, no matter what kind of suspension or weight distribution system you’ve got.

What’s that? You didn’t know you could install a weight distribution hitch? Our good friends at Curt spell it out for you in this instructional video.

Not sure you want to do it yourself? It won’t take us long – not much longer than it took you to read this and watch the video.

Make an appointment and make your hauling a little safer and easier.

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts People who depend on their trailers depend on JTI.

440.232.4311   www.JTIinc.com

Balancing a trailer load isn't rocket science

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Loading a Trailer for Proper Weight Distribution

When loading a trailer, proper weight distribution can’t be an afterthought.

When you’ve got your trailer’s weight distribution right, you, your trailer and your towing will vehicle get better handling, improved ride quality, safer breaking, and slightly better fuel efficiency. Convinced that it’s important? Follow these general recommendations and you’ll be rolling right.

Weighty Matters

First, you know you should never exceed GVWR or axle rating, right? OK. One of the basic rules of thumb every trailer owner needs to understand is that tongue weight should be about 10% (and never exceed 15%) of total trailer weight. So if you’ve got 2,000 load, your tongue weight should be 300 lbs. or less.

Yes; it’s worth doing the math. (HowStuffWorks breaks it down for you.)

The good news is, this isn’t rocket science. Balancing your load is easier than flying pigeon, or just about any of those fancy yoga poses we keep hearing about.

Here’s more good news: no matter what kind of trailer you have, there are things you can do to make your loads more manageable and to reduce the wear on your trailer and tow vehicle.

Load Smart: Position Practice

Of course, in addition to the weight you’re hauling, the position of your load makes a difference, too. Generally, you should position more than half (about 60%) of your load in front of the trailer’s front axle.

Your goal is to distribute the weight as evenly as possible among all of the tires.

Top heavy or unevenly weighted objects (like a lot of landscaping equipment) can present special challenges.

Getting your load right may require a visit or two to public scales, a measure of common sense, and some practice. Got questions? Call us or stop by our showroom. We’ve been helping Cleveland’s trailer owners achieve “inner balance” since 1935, and we can help you. Namaste. 


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

Need help balancing a load? Looking for a weight distribution system?  Get in touch:  440.232.4311  www.JTIinc.com





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Speedbinders: Another NE Ohio Company We’re Glad We Know!

Speedbinders, founded and based in Canton, Ohio, is an innovative company with those hard-working tendencies the midwest is known for.

Vice President Steve Helline operates the business on the “under-promise  and over-deliver” philosophy. It seems to work, for Speedbinder customers and for ours.

How Speedbinders Make Your Work Easier

They say, “show don’t tell.” So, we’ll show you:

Smart Trailer Accessories

As much as we love to sell new trailers, we also love to help people keep their trailers working safely and efficiently for as long as possible. Speedbinders – just one of the smart accessories we sell that helps our customers do just that.  


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsPeople who depend on their trailers depend on JTI.  Need trailer repair (new axle?), routine maintenance, parts, or something else? Call or stop in to see how you can work smarter, too. 440.232.4311

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Simple Anti-Theft Device Stops Thieves From Stealing Your Vehicle

The Frontier Protector Anti-Theft device by Smart Tech is a safe, smart, sassy, easy-to-use tool to prevent theft of your trailer or other vehicle. Why do we say it’s sassy? When a thief starts to roll away with your trailer (or other vehicle), the Frontier Protector quickly (but safely) deflates the tires. HA! Take THAT, bozo.

Easy-to-Use Anti-Theft Device

Anti-theft device for trailers, cars

$25.95, while supplies last

Here’s how it works: the Frontier Protector prevents theft by deflating the tires as soon as they start to roll away with your vehicle.

And, it’s easy to install. You simply put the secure nut on the air valve, attach the adaptor, tighten it with the hexagon key, put the tire deflator over the adaptor, and lock it. You’re done! and your trailer (or any vehicle) is secure.

When someone tries to drive away, they’ll experienced a controlled flat, usually within 500 meters, depending on the vehicle’s speed and weight.

Prevent Trailer Theft

Trailer theft isn’t an idle threat; it really happens. Some experts say a sure way to prevent theft is to give your trailer a unique paint job. And, of course, there are dozens of security devices to help you prevent trailer theft. Many of them work well (and we sell quite a few!) – but of course, none of them work if you don’t use them. That’s one reason the Frontier Protector is so sweet – it’s really easy to use.

Great Gift for Cleveland Dads! And Moms!

While we hate to brag (oh, who are we kidding? this is our blog!), we must mention that our production manager developed this product. Stop in to our showroom to see the Frontier Protector! We have a limited supply for just $25.95.

In case you didn’t already make the connection, that’s a useful gift available from a local business, and it’s darned practical, too.

You’re welcome! See you soon!


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

People who depend on their trailers have depended on JTI since 1935. Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm and Saturdays 8am-2pm. Call us at 440.232.4311 or check in with us anytime on Twitter and Facebook.