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What are Model and Serial Plates Used For?

Updated on September 14, 2013
Model and Serial Plates
Model and Serial Plates

You’ve probably seen a few of these on the back of appliances and on machinery. You may have also seen these on vehicles and vehicle parts. What exactly are model and serial plates, and what are these used for? Do these tags serve any specific purpose and are these really necessary?

Model and serial plates are actually used by a many different industries and for many different reasons, depending on where these are used and for what industry. For example, most appliances have these plates on them for not just one use, but for a few good reasons. These plates are used to help repairmen find the parts needed to fix such items quickly as well as for warranty purposes.

For others, these serial numbers help tell them whether an item is authentic or not. Some items carry these alphanumeric tags on them to indicate what year they were made, and in turn, these help people look for telltale signs that show such items are authentic by tying in these numbers and letters with certain features or characteristics that can only be found on items that belong to such a series. This is usually what model and serial plates are used for when people collect certain items that are rather rare or hard to find.

When it comes to machinery, automobiles and equipment like lawnmowers and tractors, these model and serial plates serve the same purpose as those found on home appliances. These plates help repairmen find the right parts to use for repairing these things with and these very same tags help companies check whether warranties are still valid or have already expired. These plates can also show technicians the specifications of such equipment and when these were manufactured.

The information that can be found on these plates can vary from one industry to another, and from one company to another as well. Some plates can carry only the company name, contact number, model number and serial number of the items these are attached to. Others can carry more information, like the wattage of the item, the logo of the company that manufactured it, mailing addresses and even a barcode for easy tracking.

Where these are located can also depend on the individual companies that attach them to the products they are made for. For instance, two different lawn mower companies may carry similar metal tags on them, with each model and serial plate carrying the mower’s model name, serial number and manufacturer name. One company can choose to put this tag on the engine of the mower while the other can choose to attach this to the side of the body of the mower.

Another thing you will notice about these tags is that even companies that have numerous models for their items may sometimes choose to attach these on different areas of their products, depending on the kind of product in question. For example, one particular lawn mower company attaches their model and serial plates to the engine of walk behind mowers but decides to attach these plates to the underside of the seat of their ride on mowers. This same company also chooses to attach the model and serial plate of their leaf blowers to its side and the plate of their snow blowers to the underside of its handle.

Whatever can be found on these tags and where these are attached, you can be sure that these are not there for no good reason. These model and serial plates are there for very specific purposes, whether for ease of repair, ease of replacement or for tracking purposes, such plates should never be removed or defaced. Doing so may not only void warranties or make repairs difficult, but it may also diminish the value of an item if these are found to be worth collecting.

Parts of a Typical Model and Serial Plate
Parts of a Typical Model and Serial Plate

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