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Serial Number Guide > User Guide > Introduction
The SERIAL NUMBER GUIDE is designed to assist in determining the correct model year and location of identification or serial number plates for heavy equipment. A critical component of equipment inspection, appraisal, sales, maintenance and repair, and issuing of licenses or title, depends on accurate, correct identification and documentation of the make, model, and year of equipment. Accuracy in this basic information ensures that a correct market value can be assessed, correct parts are ordered for repairs, and sales transactions or titles do not create conflict or question of ownership. Theft of heavy equipment has become a significant concern to the industry, creating greater emphasis for owners and law enforcement agencies on proper identification and tracking of machinery. The use of the Serial Number Guide by law enforcement, distributors, auctioneers, owners, and others helps ensure equipment serial number and model year is properly identified and aids in the reduction of theft and sales of stolen equipment to unwary buyers.
Whenever possible, EquipmentWatch obtains serial number information directly from manufacturers. The information in this guide reflects the efforts of equipment experts and the cooperation of many manufacturers. EquipmentWatch would like to thank all of the manufacturers who have provided their serial number information for publication. For those manufacturers who do not release their serial numbers, “field reported” numbers will be listed whenever possible. Field reported serial numbers are estimates, and are based on surveys of distributors, information from UCC-1 filings, and analysis of our extensive database of equipment transactions and other information.
The information in the SERIAL NUMBER GUIDE has been obtained through the cooperative efforts of manufacturers, distributors, and other reliable sources. EquipmentWatch does not accept responsibility for its accuracy. Only the manufacturers of equipment can assume responsibility for the accuracy of their serial numbers. If there are any questions or doubts regarding these numbers, please contact the manufacturer.
The methods of identifying a machine’s year of manufacture or model year using a serial number vary among manufacturers. Many manufacturers include information relating to the manufacturing plant location or the configuration of the machine in the serial number as well as the model number. Some serial numbers can include a code which identifies the year, and are made up of either numbers or letters which are included as part of the serial number scheme. Other manufacturers may simply indicate the year with the first or last digit of the serial number, or stamp the year of manufacture directly on the identification plate separately from the serial number. Some manufacturers incorporate prefixes to identify a series of machines or family, and other will simply apply a straight sequential serial sequence to every machine built.
This product displays serial number data in the most appropriate format possible. In some cases, information pertaining to the year will be described as a note or text reference instead of lowest and highest serial numbers (e.g. The 5th digit of the serial number indicates the year).
Typically a serial number or identification plate is fixed in one or more locations on a machine that can be easily located, but are not in the way of wear parts. Since components such as engines also have serial numbers, it is important to be sure you are looking at the machine serial number and not a component or attachment serial number when using this information.