JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance

Boat on the water


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Boat Trailer End-of-Season Maintenance

In Cleveland, September is still boating season! But, we all know the end is near. While you may want to take your boat out another time or two, you need to consider what the season has done to your boat trailer – and especially, its bearings. Take care of the bearings before you put your boat away for the season, and you can look forward to taking it out again on the first nice weekend next spring.

Before You Store Your Boat Trailer

When boating season ends, it’s time to clean and repack the bearings with fresh grease and replace the seals on your trailer!

Not excited about that? We understand – it’s not a glamorous job, but it’s important to clean and repack the bearings before you put the boat away for the winter. There is a good chance that moisture has entered your hubs, regardless the type of bearing protectors used. Doing it now is the best way to avoid additional cost in the future. (And let’s face it – that first warm weekend in the spring, you want your trailer ready to roll – right?!)

Moisture: How Bearings Go Bad in the Winter

If you fail to clean and repack the bearings before storing your boat for the winter in a climate like ours here on the North Coast, any remaining moisture in the bearings will freeze and thaw, causing corrosion and pitting in the bearings. Bearings in this condition will heat up with use, cause the grease to breakdown and result in bearing failure.

A catastrophic bearing failure can result in a damaged hub.

Or worse, a ruined axle.

Or much worse – a blown tire resulting in property loss or even the loss of life.

Cleaning and repacking the bearings on your boat trailer is no fun, but it’s gotta get done. Do it now or make an appointment to have it done by the professional staff at JTI Inc. It’s not a glamorous job, but one we’re happy to do. Stop in with your trailer today!


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsKeep your boat trailer in good shape so you can enjoy more time on the water – this season and next. See JTI for the parts you need, or bring your boat trailer in so we handle bearing clean and repack and other maintenance for you.  JTIinc.com   440.232.4311


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Trailer Maintenance Tip: Fastener Facts & Why We Love Shackle Bolts

They may be small, but you shouldn’t ignore them: the right fasteners are important to your trailer’s operation, longevity, and can affect the safety of your load.

Small But Mighty Important: Trailer Fasteners

We’ve written before about how small, inexpensive things (like bushings) can end up causing a lot of aggravation and costing a lot of money. Fasteners are the same. We have hundreds of different nuts and bolts – including U bolts – couplers and other fasteners in stock, and regularly place special orders for specific trailer parts, including fasteners, to keep our customers’ trailers on the road and operating safely.

We try to provide as much customer education as we can, but sometimes, when we suggest a particular bolt that’s $1 or $2 more than another, we see a raised eyebrow and that “oh sure it’s the more expensive one” look.

Trust us, we won’t be retiring anytime soon by selling that $3 bolt. When we recommend a fastener that’s an extra buck or two, it’s well worth it.

Here’s why: basic nuts and bolts don’t lock down tight and stay locked down when used in typical over-the-road conditions. (And especially not when you’re pushing your speed or weight recommendations.) 

We Recommend Shackle Bolts for Most Trailer Applications

Shackle bolts are knurled and self-locking. They stay locked in, even as your trailer bounces along the road.

 

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Bolt Materials and Welding

We carry a variety of stainless and galvanized steel bolts and other materials. But in some cases, a weld is a better option than any fastener.

JTI’s experienced welders are here on premises 6 days a week. Between our hauling, mechanical, and welding experience, we can recommend the best options for your trailer.

Have questions for the trailer and hitch experts? Call or stop in. We love to talk about making hauling easier and safer for our customers and for everyone on the road.


JTI, Cleveland trailer expertsWe’re not the only people who are a little bit nuts about nuts and bolts. If you know anyone in classic car restoration, you know they’re serious about fasteners too. What’s that? You know all about the nuts and bolts of classic cars? Did you know we rent and sell car haulers? We do! 440.232.4311


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Snow Removal: Are You Ready for the 2015-2016 Season?

When you put your blades away in the spring, did you clean your plowJTI-Meyer-Fleet-friendly carriage and blades? Check for corrosion? How do your pumps, fittings, and springs look?

Before those first flakes fall – and those first customers call – you need to know that your plows are ready to work for you. If you don’t have time to prep your plows, you definitely won’t have time to make repairs once the snow plowing season is really underway. 

At JTI, a Snow Plow Tune-Up includes:

  • Degreasing all electrical parts & re-greasing them
  • Degreasing all wear parts, pins, and connections & re-greasing them
  • Draining of hydraulic fluid, cleaning all valves & refilling the hydraulic fluid
  • Bleeding air out of the system
  • Cleaning the screens
  • Tightening the  springs
  • Adjusting headlights

In short, we’ll help you buy getting your plow ready to make money for you this season. Call for an appointment or bring your plow in. The shop is getting busy, so don’t wait!

Call 440.232.4311 or request an appointment online.


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New to Trailering? Start Right, Start Safe

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If you’re planning to start towing a boat, camper, snowmobile, Jetski, or any kind of cargo, or if you are familiar with towing but new to Ohio’s laws regarding trailers, please know that JTI welcomes your questions.

Our business began in 1935. With several decades of experience with all types of trailers, repairs and maintenance, chances are we can help you with anything you need.

Safety is our primary concern, but we don’t try to scare our customers. If you don’t understand how a certain part of your trailer operates, or are unsure how it should be used and maintained, we haven’t done our job. On the other hand, trailers are our job. So if you have any questions or concerns about trailer operation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How Cleveland Rolls: Is Your Trailer for Work or Play? 

In Greater Cleveland, we have clients who are landscapers by day and campers by night. Snow plowers and snowmobile enthusiasts when it’s cold, and waterskiers when the lake warms up. In other words, our customers use different types of trailers in different conditions. That’s life on the North Coast.

No matter what you’re towing, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right equipment, and that it’s in good working order (even the parts you can’t see).  Schedule a stop into our showroom to meet our team, ask any questions you might have, and check out our many accessories. From safety apparel and eyewear to gloves, straps, tarps, rain gear, and other gear, we have a broad selection of items that can make your job easier and your hobby more enjoyable.

New Trailer in Ohio?

We’re trailer experts, and happy to take your questions. However, some things you probably should get straight from the state. Ohio’s BMV site covers the most frequently asked questions regarding titling vehicles (including trailers) in the Buckeye state.

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Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMWhat do you use your trailer for? Work, play, or both? We love to see our customers in action. Share photos of you and your trailer (at work or play) and we’ll give you a shout out on our Facebook or Twitter page. Stop in or call with questions: 440.232.4311 

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Snowmobile image courtesy of Ohio State Parks, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.


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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.

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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.)


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The 5 BEST Ways To Avoid Slow Times In Your Business

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The worst thing you can have in any industry is a lull in business. Or is it? You never want to leave your employees with no work to do (not only is it financially stressful, it’s also hard on employee morale). On the other hand, knowing how to productively fill downtime is great for business and for employee satisfaction.

Here are 5 SIMPLE tips to avoid slow business times.

  1. Don’t forget the fundamentals: Customer Service should ALWAYS be your greatest priority.  Think of it this way: For every bad customer experience, you will lose 7-21 customers.  People rarely discuss good experiences (see below), but ALWAYS discuss bad experiences.
  2. Give more than what is expected: With every customer, give them more than they expect: use eye contact, try to learn and remember their name, shake their hand when appropriate, and listen for those little things that will mean a lot to them… and give it to them. Customer Service studies show that it is small things that make a difference: gift wrapping, a consistent smile; a personal phone call reminder, etc. Be creative, it will set you apart from others. Got a lull in business? Call a client you haven’t seen in awhile. “I was wondering how things are going, and wonder if there’s anything we can help you with,” are truly magic words.
  3. Think ahead: if there is a sale and/or service that you provide for your customers; schedule them at the original point of sale.  Hair salons are best at this, when the client is paying, they schedule their next appointment. At JTI, we know when your trailer will need to be serviced based on your business, so we will pre-schedule your service appointment so you do not have to remember. We’ll give you a personal call to remind you, as well, the day before.
  4. Keep your customers interested: Social media engagement, blogging, and/or a newsletter; catered specifically to your brand, posted and sent on a consistent and regular basis will nurture your customer relationships. If anything it is a friendly reminder that says, “Yes, we are still here, and ready for your business whenever you may need us.”
  5. Give Back: Schedule events and personally invite your customers.  They can be fun, educational, and possibly an exhibition of new products and/or services.  Plan to have seasonal events that are all unique. The more you have events, the greater your loyal customer base will be.

BONUS TIP >>> Always say Thank You! if your customers did not exist, your business would not exist.

Thank you for reading our blog!

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At JTI, wScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 11.28.53 AMe value our customers and employees, and 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. (Hint: we’re hiring now!)