Heavy Equipment Serial Number Guide

Validate the year of manufacture to ensure a reliable value. Avoid paying too much for used construction equipment or not asking enough when selling your current equipment. An error of just one model year (2005 vs. 2006, for example) can change the price by thousands of dollars.

The Serial Number Guide is the leading source for year-of-manufacture data on all major and hard-to-find construction equipment. This means you get over 70 years of serial number information from more than 585 manufacturers representing over 100 equipment types in construction, forestry, paving, material handling and aggregate industries – FAST! The guide also includes over 15,000 models with shipping dimensions. The Serial Number Guide is available in three formats:

Example: An error of one year for a Caterpillar 320CL Excavator, serial number PAB04968, changes the value by $7,759:

Top Bid2005$86,192
Competitor Data2006$93,951
Amount Overpaid$7,759 (9%)

*Notes: Year of manufacture data sourced from Top Bid’s Serial Number Guide and a competitor’s guide. Value data sourced from one year of auction results based on Top Bid’s Price Reference Guide.

Mobile App

The Serial Number Guide Mobile App is the best way to access serial number data in the field since it is able to function offline. The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms. Contact us for more information and to download the app.



The Online Serial Number Guide provides the most user-friendly searches and instant access to updates.



Top Bid publishes the Serial Number Guide annually. Each year new models are added and other revisions made (See sample).

This authoritative reference has been compiled with the cooperation of almost every significant manufacturer of construction equipment and ancillary products.

Also, an extraordinary effort has been made to verify, categorize and interpret serial number data from several million records of UCC filings.  The use of this exclusive source of information makes this Serial Number Guide the most comprehensive resource available.  The format of the Serial Number Guide follows the standard practice of listing serial numbers either by a machine’s make and model (and in some cases, Caterpillar being one, by serial number prefix) or by its manufacturer only when one set of numbers covers all categories and all models in a product line.  Numbers are listed lowest to highest for known numbers assigned to machines in each given year.  In some cases, because of the system a manufacturer may use to assign numbers, it is necessary to assign an arbitrary cutoff to the range of numbers for a given year.  In these cases our team of analysts uses UCC filings to determine the most accurate cutoff points possible.

There are many manufacturers of equipment, past and present, that embed codes or use unique combinations of numbers in particular places in the serial number string to designate the year of manufacture.  Examples of these may be the use of a letter to indicate a year (e.g. A = 1987, B = 1988, etc.) or several digits to note a month and year (e.g. 1092 = October 1992).  Top Bid’s staff has gone to great lengths to contact manufacturers and verify their codes and formats. The notes shown for these manufacturers will clearly explain how to interpret serial numbers.  Many manufacturers in this Serial Number Guide are no longer in business and therefore cannot be contacted.  Top Bid relies on the experience and judgment of its analysts and other professionals in the business to verify information long in the public domain.