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Serial Box: The Importance of Your Equipment Serial Number Explained

November 15, 2022

image titled serial box, showing a track excavator

Modern construction machines aren’t just tools to get the job done. Each one represents an entire ecosystem of parts manufacturers, safety technicians and supply chain professionals. All of these entities must work in harmony to keep your equipment on the job. Fortunately, one piece of information will help these things work together smoothly – your equipment serial number. You have to know it and you have to have it readily available.

A large number of companies and technicians don’t take the time to store their equipment serial number in a place they can easily access it. In the past, having the year, make and model of the machine was sufficient. However, with today’s modern machinery and ever-changing supply chain concerns, it’s the equipment serial number that ties everything together. Best of all, T3 makes it easy to store your machine’s serial number and share it with service technicians and part suppliers. 

Don’t wait – add your equipment serial number or VIN to your records in T3. Read step-by-step instructions.

‍Why Does My Serial Number Matter?

Equipment manufacturers often make design changes during the manufacturing process. 

“Manufacturers will change part numbers by model within the same year of production,” EquipmentShare Corporate Parts Manager Renae Winingear said. “For example, it can happen if the manufacturer starts using a different supplier for the same part.”

Supply chain issues can also affect parts availability, requiring a substitution. Components can be recalled due to safety concerns, or swapped out for more reliable ones. Even among similar machines from the same manufacturer and year, there can be a variety of systems under the hood. As a result, it’s important for you, your parts supplier and your service technicians to know exactly what you have. 

When ordering parts, the serial number will allow your supplier to identify exactly where in the production run your machine was manufactured, and select the correct replacement part. 

“Parts are commonly superseded when a manufacturer makes a change to the part through their engineering team,” Winingear said.

It’s also important to identify the serial number for each machine if you are ordering parts for more than one of the same make and model at once. Otherwise, there is no guarantee the parts you order will fit all of the machines you need them for.

Ordering the wrong part can be a costly, time-consuming mistake. A heavy item, such as an axle, can be expensive to return – a cost that you would have to bear if you failed to ensure you were ordering the correct one. Every additional day spent waiting for the correct part, large or small, to arrive is another day your machine isn’t on the job.

“Having the correct serial number will save a lot of time and expense of returning the wrong parts, and having the equipment down for unnecessary time,” Winingear said.

Equipment serial numbers are about more than just ordering the right parts. Here are three more ways the correct serial number can help you:

Having the serial number alongside maintenance history allows you to maintain warranty coverage and make accurate warranty claims, which can save you thousands of dollars should something break down while covered. 

Safety and service bulletins are issued by equipment serial number. Carrying out a safety bulletin meant for a different machine may not address the underlying safety concern, potentially placing your team at risk. With the machine serial number, your technicians can be confident all applicable bulletins for your machines are carried out correctly.

Equipment theft is an unfortunate reality for construction sites and equipment yards. With T3, you can track stolen equipment and provide law enforcement with location information to assist in recovery. Once the authorities are on the scene, it’s your equipment serial number that will provide the final step in identifying and recovering your machine. 

Ordering parts from EquipmentShare? We make it even easier to get the exact part you need. Our parts team can access your machine’s information directly from T3 for you and ensure you have everything you need for scheduled maintenance and repairs. Visit the EquipmentShare Store to find exactly what you need.  

Do you have easy access to data on your machines? Are you still using paper to keep maintenance records? There’s a better way. Get started with T3 today.

About EquipmentShare

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Columbia, Mo., EquipmentShare is a nationwide construction technology and equipment solutions provider dedicated to transforming the construction industry through innovative tools, platforms and data-driven insights. By empowering contractors, builders and equipment owners with its proprietary technology, T3, EquipmentShare aims to drive productivity, efficiency and collaboration across the construction sector. With a comprehensive suite of solutions that includes a fleet management platform, telematics devices and a best-in-class equipment rental marketplace, EquipmentShare continues to lead the industry in building the future of construction.