JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

Gooseneck Trailer front pin

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Will a Gooseneck Trailer Work for You?

Gooseneck trailers have some definite advantages over both bumper-pull and 5th-wheel trailers. But of course, the best type of trailer to have is the one you need. Let’s consider whether a gooseneck trailer might be a good choice for you.

Gooseneck Trailer front pinGenerally, the advantages of Gooseneck trailers are that they are safer and stronger than bumper pull trailers. Thanks to the gooseneck design, they have a tighter turn ratio and a smoother, more stable ride (less sway). Of course, their design and intended use means it’s critical that your towing vehicle and hitch are up to the job, too.

Gooseneck Trailers: Tongue Weight and Serious Towing Strength

A bumper pull trailer usually has around a 2K tongue weight; a gooseneck typically provides more than twice that strength, with tongue weights in the 5-6K range.

It’s common for people who haven’t towed a lot to confuse gooseneck and 5th-wheel trailers. Here’s the basic thing you need to know: a gooseneck trailer slides over a ball hitch installed (even temporarily) in the bed of a pickup truck, while a 5th-wheel trailer must attach to a hinged plate hitch – almost exactly the same as semi-truck trailers use.

When you need serious strength, a gooseneck adapter king pin can turn it into a true towing beast, with up to 26K tongue weight.

Econoline Gooseneck Trailer

Call to learn more about towing with a Gooseneck trailer: 440.232. 4311

Bumper Pull Trailers: Pros and Cons

Bumper Pull Trailers are popular with recreational trailer users – not there’s anything wrong with hauling your boat to Lake Erie or pulling your camper out of Cleveland occasionally! And of course, bumper pull trailers can handle large loads and specialty jobs. We work with countless landscapers, construction professionals and general contractors who rely on their bumper-pull flatbed and dump trailers, as well as large open and enclosed trailers.

It’s precisely because of the many forces and demands on bumpers and hitches that we ask so many questions of our customers. Generally speaking, bumper pull trailers will handle lighter loads than goosenecks, and they are easier to manage – especially for drivers who don’t haul trailers on a regular basis. But, it’s important to know that there are just as many safety issues with bumper pull trailers as there are with Goosenecks and 5th wheels.

Econoline Gooseneck Trailer

Bumper Pull Trailers are by far the most common of all trailers on the road, and the majority of what we work with at JTI – but we also have experience with gooseneck trailers and making sure our customers have what they need to do the job, safely. Questions? We’d love to hear from you.

JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsPlease come to us with your trailer and towing questions. We know trailers, are good at what we do, and love to help our customers make their work – especially towing – easier and better. Stop in or call: 440.232.4311

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Axle News, Trailer Sales Updates

Have you heard about Dexter Axle’s acquisition of AL-KO Kober? We post news from our suppliers and partners on our website. Sure, if you know JTI you know we make axles for many of our customers, especially those with very specific needs and applications. But, Dexter is a long-time partner and supplier – and it’s always smart to keep informed about the industry.

It’s also nice to get a bargain! In addition to news from the trailer industry, we also keep a current list of our specials and sales on the site.


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

Since 1935, people who depend on their trailers have depended on JTI. Stop by or call us to find out why that is.


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5 Tips to Keep Your Trailer and Hitch Happy This Winter

Cleveland Winters are never “easy” but this year’s temperature fluctuations (and great variety of precipitation)  seems a little tougher than usual. What does that mean for your trailer?

Diaelectric Grease5 Things You Should Do For Your Trailer (and Hitch) This Winter

1. Wash the salt off your trailer and hitch. It’s the curse of the snowbelt: the salt that keeps us safe on the road creates problems for our vehicles. Keep your machine clean.

2. If you’re not using your hitch, REMOVE THE BALL MOUNT. The gunk and temperature extremes just cause excess wear. (Bonus: people who park behind you will appreciate it.)

3. Buy $4 worth of “insurance” called dielectric grease. Use it to keep moisture out of your wires and prevent corrosion on your battery posts.

4. Put a plug on it! Inexpensive but extremely valuable (and a piece of cake to use!) 4-flat connector covers protect your wiring from whatever the street throws at ’em.

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5. Plan on repacking your bearings this spring – or at least once each year. Winter’s constant freezing and thawing and refreezing practically guarantees moisture will get in the bearings, creating corrosion. The solution: clean and repack them. (Yes, we can do it for you: 440.232.4311)

Bonus tip: Check your tire pressure often and adjust as needed! Cleveland’s roller-coaster temps play havoc with tire air pressure, and improper inflation can cause uneven wear on your tires, leading to vibration and worse, unstable handling. ___________________________________________________________________________________

JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsIt’s been a long winter, and we are definitely thinking about spring! If you’re looking for a hitch-mount bike rack, a pop-up tent trailer, or dreaming about other fun you can have with a hitch, we can help! Call us at 440.232.4311 or stop in to our Oakwood Village showroom, where we’re open Monday – Friday 8am-5pm & Saturday 8am-2pm. Our Twitter @JTI_Inc and Facebook pages are open 24 hours 😉 __________________________________________________________________________________

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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!
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. _______________________________________________________________________________________________

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Top 5 Ways To Use Down Time At Work

When you do have small gaps in business during the day? As a manager, those times are excellent opportunities to engage with your employees.

Here are 5 things you can do to motivate your staff:

  • Genuinely ask how they are: If they feel you care; they will care. By understanding what what is important to your employees, you can learn what motivates their work. There is a fine line between personal and TOO personal, but you as a manager CAN manage that. (Note: Ask to know enough, don’t ask to get involved.)
  • Buy them lunch: Don’t just give them lunch; sit with them, talk to them, listen to them. Lunch is supposed to be a fun time, though – so, make sure you don’t “cramp” their style in a way that makes anyone uncomfortable because you are there.  Be genuine. Even though yours is a manager/employee relationship, you’re co-workers. Remember that.
  • Give them a break: Make it a productive break from work. Say you’ll step in for 5 minutes. This gives employees on the frontline a break, so they won’t have to produce and/or interact with customers, but they’ll still be present to learn something new. It’s a perfect opportunity to role-model, and to gain insight into how you might improve operations.
  • Give them another break: A real break! Let an employee take a walk, get outside, breathe some fresh air, sit in the office and stare at the wall… whatever it is, it’s time to re-group, re-charge, and re-energize in a positive way.
  • Be ready: For those down times, you can be pro-active and have a list of small things that you NEED to review with your employees.  You may need to mention something important, train for an upcoming marketing campaign, or plant a seed of advice. Whatever it is, keep it positive.

When it comes down to it, all time should be productive, and down time spent re-charging is productive. It ultimately impacts overall productivity in a positive way. Stay positive, be a good leader of your team, and always strive to be better as a team.


At JTI, wScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMe try to follow this advice every day. Would you like to work here? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out when we’re hiring, or check our website for openings.)

Meyer Snow Plow

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Building Your Snow Plow Business

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Today: Building your Snow Plow Business

We see guys come in everyday during the long Cleveland winter looking cold, weary, and very overworked.

How can you make snow plowing both lucrative & non-stressful? In order of business development, start with number one and grow to number three. As a business owner, always have the point of view of making life easy and growing your business.

  1. Build a Team: Get two to three other guys in your truck. At each location you can rotate roles. Get a manual salt spreader and a shovel. Take turns for each location. Having other hands will also keep you company. Have someone in charge of tracking the locations. All you will have to do is drive the truck and do the large snow pushing; which we all know is the fun part. Don’t forget to assign each crew member their designated donut days.
  2. Take Charge of a Crew: Instead of you doing the driving and the plowing, build your accounts so that you can sit in your warm office and assign jobs to your crew of 1-2 trucks. Build slowly by focusing on sales, customer relations, and marketing. You will have to stop on customer sites once per day to check on your crew’s work and check in with customers as necessary.
  3. Build a Fleet:  Now you have 50-100 accounts, you have managed 1-2 trucks, it’s time to build your business. Expand to doing all of the sales and marketing for 4-6 trucks. You are now even paying someone else to do the job you were doing in #2. You are the CEO and you manage the manager who is managing the crew. Next steps would be to hire someone to do the sales and marketing, BUT, sometimes business owners stop here because they like to stay in touch with the business.

Business growth is up to you. You are more than capable of growing your business each year. This could represent a high level three year plan for you. As long as your point of view is always as the leader with a drive to grow you can achieve this. Have confidence that not everyone is taking the time to think like this so you have one leg up in the game.  Call us at JTI anytime for expert business growth advice; we are always available for that conversation. As you grow; we grow. We’ll be there for you anytime you have business growth questions.

Be safe snow plowing! Stay Warm!


Got questioScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMns? We know plows, hitches, spreaders…and how crazy the business can be. Call 440.232.4311 or stop in to talk to our experienced team. Time to add a plow to your fleet? We sell new and used. Check out our inventory online or in person.