JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

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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

Cargo and open trailer rentals

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Timeline: JTI in Cleveland, 80+ years


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.)





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. 


You could get a complete hitch for about $5.

Hitch Price Sheet 1950s


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


Trailer rentals were booming on Buckeye!


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.


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


Johns Trailer Company became JTI.

The Miracle of Richfield was underway at the Coliseum.


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.



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.


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!


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

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!

JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


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.

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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!


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


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.


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


Made in Cleveland Trivia: When Our Love Affair with Farmers’ Markets Began

We are huge fans of local produce – in Cleveland, of course, but wherever you are, local produce is great.

In the 1930s, you could buy a live goose at the Westside Market.

In the 1930s, you could buy a live goose at the Westside Market.

We’re not nutritionists, but we know fruits & veggies are good for you in general, and understand they’re even better when grown close to home. We’ll leave the dietary advice to the experts and instead play a little Cleveland trivia. Do you know how far back our support of local produce goes? Try all the way back to 1935, when the first of Johns Trailers hauled local farmers’ crops to the West Side Market. Yep, that’s how JTI started rolling.

How far does your tomato travel? From Farmers’ Almanac

Our trailers were first made in Cleveland, on Buckeye Road, more than 80 years ago. We’ve gone through a few old photo albums recently and found some fun memories. Sadly, we haven’t found any pics of our trailers actually overflowing with local produce. (If you have such a pic, by all means get in touch!!)  

Vintage JTI image Johns Trailers Inc

Cleveland’s Trailer experts since 1935.

Now, we’ve been in Oakwood Village for a couple of decades now, and we’re still in the trailer business. And although most of the trailers we sell are from manufacturers like Atlas, CarryOn, Floe, and other great names in the trailer industry, we’re hardly “just” in trailer sales today. We customize, service, and repair virtually all makes and models of trailers. And hitches. (Don’t get us started on hitches…that’s a whole different post.)

Anyway, if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably noticed we’re quick to share news about local farmers markets and other growing news. Now you know why.

Here’s to a green and yummy season, and a bountiful harvest – in Cleveland and beyond.


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


From the trailers that haul local foods to market to the construction and landscape trailers that have built this city, we’ve got a trailer (and hitch) for that. 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.

More trailer tips, Cleveland trivia, and some bad puns on Twitter and Facebook, 24/7. Our primary website is www.JTIinc.com

Image credits: JTI and Debbie Snook/Plain Dealer.

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Enjoy the Holiday!

To our customers:

We’ll be closed Friday July 3 and Saturday July 4 for the holiday. We hope you enjoy Independence Day with family and friends, and pause amid the celebrations to remember all that is wonderful and amazing about this country. ClosedJuly 3-4

It may not be perfect, but we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

We’ll be back to work bright and early on Monday. Looking forward to serving you then. fireworks

If you have questions about our inventory, employment opportunities, or want to contact us over the holiday weekend, please visit our website where you might find what you need. And, if you’re looking for firework displays in Cleveland and the NE Ohio area, check out this list!

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So You Wanna Rent a Trailer, in Cleveland

Yay! You’ve just been offered a bunch of free mulch – it’s yours, if you can haul it away.

Congratulations! Your kid is off to college. Now how’s he gonna get ALL THAT to the dorm?!

The folks are downsizing and the piano is yours. Plus everything in the garage…so you might need a car hauler, too.

You may need a trailer once or twice a year, for a variety of reasons. The good news: we rent trailers when you need ’em.

See our complete rental inventory on our website, www.JTIinc.com

Trailers for Rent in Cleveland

Cargo or enclosed trailers are ideal for moving many things, but sometimes what you need is an open trailer, with or without sides. Maybe you need a tilt trailerOr a car hauler, tow dolly, flatbed deckover, or motorcycle trailer.  No problem – we rent them all. 

10' Cargo Rental

10′ Cargo Rental

Why rent from JTI?  The fact is, you can call a chain and rent a variety of different trailers. But there’s only one place you can rent a trailer from a local company founded in Cleveland in 1935, and that’s us.

Of course we think there are a few other reasons our customers keep coming back. One of those reasons: our extensive hauling expertise. We didn’t name this blog “Trailer and Hitch Experts” on a whim, and we don’t hire just anyone who can run a cash register and fill out forms. Our employees can actually help you select the right trailer for the job, and acronyms like GVWR roll off their tongues like torsion axles. (Trailer humor … no extra charge.)

Call us when you know what you’ll be hauling, and when, then we’ll help you determine what you need. (Including any accessories that might come in handy.)

How much does it cost to rent a trailer?

Unlike the big chains, we rent trailers on a sliding price scale. For example, a 4×7′ open trailer that rents for $30 a day is just $67 for three days. (Need a trailer for more than a week? We’ll work with you.)

Wood and steel deck landscape trailers rent for about $50 per day. Deckover and Tilt trailers start at $90 per day. Of course, we understand that one day often doesn’t get the job done – just let us know how long you think you’ll need the trailer, and we will quote you a price based on that.

Local Trailer Rentals

Nomanco motorcycle trailer

Nomanco motorcycle trailer

Why rent locally instead of from a national chain? Well…we have a lot of answers. Hauling isn’t brain surgery, but there are a lot of important details that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Our approach to the business is different from a franchise. Trailers (and hitches) are practically in our blood. Our goal isn’t to rent the trailers on our lot, it’s to make sure you get the one you need, for the job you’re doing, and that it’s a good, safe match for your vehicle.

Renting a Trailer: Prices & Planning

When you call or stop in, we’ll ask a few questions – if it’s your first time renting a trailer, don’t panic. We’re accustomed to working with people who depend on their trailers, day in a day out, all year long. But if you don’t, just ask us to slow down – we’re happy to help no matter what your trailer experience. Even if you don’t have a hitch!

Questions we’ll ask include:

  • What are you hauling? (We need to have a general idea of weight, in addition to size)
  • What’s the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle you’ll be using to tow?
  • What kind of hitch do you have?
  • You don’t have a hitch? We can fix that – without an appointment!

New in 2015

We’ll be adding several new trailers to our rental trailer fleet this summer. We’re excited, and looking forward to sharing these innovative trailers with the Cleveland market. Interested in renting a trailer? Or in finding out what’s new in the trailer industry? Call us! We’d love to talk to you. 440.232.4311


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


Need a dump trailer for the weekend or a carhauler for a week or more?  Now you know who to call. We’re here 6 days a week and popping up on  Twitter and Facebook 24/7.