JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

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Winning in Cleveland: Teamwork and Steady Effort

THE CLEVELAND INDIANS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES. — Terry Pluto and all of NE Ohio, October 19, 2016


Tribe Keepsake Edition Cleveland Indians World Series Bound

Could we be any happier?

In Cleveland for more than 80 years, you better believe we’re fans of The Land. And like so many other Cleveland sports fans, we feel that while our recent spate of winning is long overdue, it’s not a surprise.

In Terry Francona we have a great leader, and he has built and coached a team of hard-working players and coaches. If there is an answer in why Cleveland is winning now, it can be summed up in the word “team.”

Yes, we’re thrilled! And we hope our customers can say the same – not just about the Tribe, but about how we’ve run our business. We’ve always felt the way to deliver a great performance demands focus, solid leadership, and a strong and steady team effort.

At the moment we are focused on baseball — and certainly will be in the coming World Series!! But we’ve never claimed to be baseball experts. We can say, however, that because our focus has never wavered, our leadership has remained steady, that our team is “all in.” That’s why our customers rely on us to keep their trailers rolling.

If you want to talk Tribe, we’re willing, this week more than ever!! But that’s true of everyone in Cleveland today. If you want to talk about trailers and hitches, you know where to come.


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsTribe Fans and Trailer & Hitch Experts

Since 1935



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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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.

car hauler axle repair

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Willys Overland, Made in Toledo, Rolls in for Trailer Repair

willys-made-in-toledo-antique-car Blog

1931 Willys6, Made in Toledo

Our customers, in addition to being hardworking, have some very cool hobbies. Recently one of our cool customers rolled in with his hobby – a vintage Willys Jeepster. The axle on his carhauler had taken a hit; we helped him keep rolling to the car show that was expecting him.

The trailer repair was pretty routine; the cargo, we’ll admit, was the big attraction. What do you know about these Ohio gems?

Meet Willys, Made in Toledo

In 1908 John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company; in 1936, coming out of the Great Depression, it was reorganized as Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. Building Jeeps for the military during World War II led to building Jeeps for the civilian market, and eventually, a line of sedans and roadsters. There’s a lot more to the story, but here’s the bottom line: The company, started in Toledo, Ohio, is still there.

Let’s hear it for Ohio innovators! (And our cool customers.) Find out more about Willys’ models here.


JTI, Cleveland trailer experts


JTI was established in Cleveland in 1935.  We’re just off I-271 in Oakwood Village, at the Broadway/Forbes exit. Whether you’re into classics or the latest innovation, stop in! We’re here to keep you rolling.


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Business Changes: Rolling Through History

JTI was established in 1935 on Cleveland’s east side. It was in large part a response to the demand for trailers from local farmers who needed to haul their wares to the West Side Market – which would soon be renovated (for the first time). Eliot Ness was the new Safety Director in town. Cleveland was the 5th largest city in the nation. As Cleveland grew, JTI did too.

Throwback to Towbars

In the early 1960s, the second generation of JTI ownership expanded the business to include the design and manufacture of hitches and towbars used in the rental car industry. At that time, a rental car company could provide the service of delivering a car to the customer’s home or business. A small car was towed behind the rental car with a temporary hitch and towbar. A single driver would deliver the rental car, then return to the home office in the towed vehicle to repeat the process. Hitches and towbars were shipped to customers throughout the United States and Canada.

Tow Bar - Old Towing Technology

Mid-1960s towing technology

That all changed with the advent of the energy-absorbing bumper, like those found on vehicles today.

So JTI rolled with the changes … and today remains in the trailer and hitch business, selling, servicing, and customizing trailers for customers who depend on their trailers and hitches, for work or for play.

Glad to be rolling in Cleveland for 80 years!

More detailed information about JTI’s history, and our company’s very first infographic (!!) can be found in another blog post, here. <LINK>

For a timeline of Cleveland’s history, see The History of Cleveland website, which is maintained by Case Western Reserve University, another fine Cleveland institution.



JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311  www.JTIinc.com

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.