JTI Inc. Cleveland

Trailers, Hitches, & Maintenance


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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

2-axle open landscape trailer


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How to Protect Your Trailer Tires from Dry Rot

Tire Dry Rot

Dry rot? Yuck! And it’s not just ugly; it’s expensive.

How to Protect Your Trailer Tires and Avoid Dry Rot

Dry Rot Trailer TireTires, generally speaking, will only last for about 6 years (under ideal conditions). So, even (or especially) if you’re not using your trailer often, your tires won’t last indefinitely.

What causes dry rot? Sunlight is the main culprit. Protecting your tires from the sun is the most important thing you can do to avoid tire dry rot. Some tips to keep you rolling safely:

  • Apply liquid protectorate (like Murphy’s Oil Soap or Armor All) according to directions. BUT, understand these liquids are like SPF for your tires – they only protect from the sun for a short time.
  • Use canvas wheel covers! They are cheap (and effective) insurance.  We sell several sizes and styles for $18 – $23.
  • Reposition the trailer at least once a month, so as to rotate the tires.
  • If the trailer is going to sit for longer than a month, jack it up to so pressure isn’t constant on just one spot the tires.

Can Tire Dry Rot be Repaired?

In a word, no. Once dry rot has obviously set in, that tire  – and therefore your trailer’s load – is riding on borrowed time. If the area with dry rot is very small, and the cracks aren’t deep, you may be able to get a few more miles out of it by keeping the tire well-lubricated with a product like Armor All, but any dry rot spells doom for your tire, and can be a significant risk on the road.

What Does Tire Dry Rot Look Like?

Learn more by watching a short informative video, or find out what Popular Mechanics says about knowing when it’s time to replace your trailer tires.

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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Got questions about your trailer’s condition or maintenance? We’re here to help. Request a service appointment or stop in to see us. We’re just off I-271 at the Forbes/Broadway exit in Oakwood Village, Ohio.

www.JTIinc.com


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Boat Trailer Lights: Common Sense Tips

Let’s get obvious: Boat trailers spend a lot of time in the water, so lights corrode. Just as obvious: lights and signals need to work, for safety’s sake to avoid accidents.cut screw boat light –  and for frustration’s sake, to avoid getting ticketed!

Want a little good news? It’s often cheaper and easier to replace the whole corroded light and wiring than it is to fix it.*

Do your boat trailer lights work? Need a service appointment? Contact us

Tips to Prevent Corrosion and Keep Boat Trailer Lights Working

The easiest way to prevent lights from corroding is to make sure you have submersible lights! Virtually all new lights are; check yours if they are several years old. (Yes, we sell submersible boat trailer lights.)

  • Rinse your trailer after loading up – and don’t forget to spray off your lights. Even if you boat in fresh water, some brackishness/pollution is present and will speed corrosion.
  • Once they’ve been rinsed off and are dry, spray all connections with dielectric grease to prevent corrosion.
  • Check your lights before you drive away!

What’s that? you’re a do-it-yourselfer and want to wire your own lights? Take a tip from the Boat Owners Association of the US; see its helpful info sheet on Trailer Wiring Care. We also recommend reading BOAT-US’s article about trailer tires. Happy reading, happy boating!

Boat Trailer Wheels rust too! Protect yours or get galvanized wheels. We’ve got them too 

*Note: please recycle all you can of the old lights, rather than discarding in the trash. Mother Earth says “thanks.”

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JTI, Cleveland trailer experts

440.232.4311

Cleveland’s boating season is too short! We highly recommend scheduling pre- and post-season maintenance for your trailer so you can make the most of the summer on the water.

www.JTIinc.com