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Old 07-12-2010, 08:44 PM
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Default Stamping Serial #s on Trailer

My trailer has only part of its serial number stamped on the trailer frame and whatever plate or sticker was on it is gone. I need to get the trailer inspected and they said the full number had to be there.

Is there any easy way to stamp the number on a galvanized steel trailer? I imagine a set of letters/numbers is available at tool places (Harbor Freight??) but this is a one-time use only. The trailer company is not in business any longer, so I can't ask them for a new plate and I don't think the inspection stations will just accept me printing off a sticker on my computer and slapping it on the trailer. Are there shops around that have sets of letters/numbers that can be pounded in with a hammer? Just my luck, but I need around 10 different letters/numbers. I imagine one of those hand-held etching machines won't do it. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:03 PM
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I would have to think pretty much all machine shops would have what you need, I'd start there if I didn't own a set myself.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:56 PM
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In theory, re-stamping the numbers yourself may not be allowed. But, if you were to try and re-stamp them, you would probably have a tough time matching the same font. If the manufacturer were still in business they would probably stamp the entire number over again so all the lettering matched. Many things have the VIN stamped more than one place, so you may find the number was, uh, stamped on the other frame rail too. They did that so when the cheesy foil tag falls off, there is a hard stamped number elsewhere. The idea of putting the VIN on a foil tag is just plain stupid.

A manufacturer would never let a new employee practice on a trailer. They would make them practice on a piece of scrap and use a large ball pein hammer until they got the hang of it. They would also put a large mark on each stamp showing where the bottom is, because a letter that is stamped upside down or sideways is forever. Lastly, carpenter's hammers have hard faces and they can throw nasty fragments, so you probably won't ever see a trailer manufacturer using one.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:09 AM
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Kern you touched on what I wasn't going to address. Since you've opened the door.......a lot of the times it isn't a font problem (standard punch set is used) it's the manufacture has a custom made punch made with some sort of company logo or trademark symbol on it that they'll stamp before, after or on both sides of the serial number. It is those symbol stampings that proves the number was done by the factory and not the average Joe trying to steal a trailer/ vehicle and reclaim it somewhat legally. And if a stamped number or letter is done in error at the time of original stamping, that number or letter is stamped out followed by that company's custom stamp to verify it is an official correction.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:17 AM
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I had to stamp or etch a trailer one time to get it through inspection. The inspector said it doesn't have to pretty, just has to be permanent. So I used a dremel and etched it in myself. Ended up being about 18" long with 1" tall font. He said it was fine.
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:23 AM
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I have see plenty of trailers that do not have numbers stamped or etched. They just have the cheap paper sticker that falls off. Stamping the data is good idea, don't understand why they don't all do it?
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtjim View Post
I had to stamp or etch a trailer one time to get it through inspection. The inspector said it doesn't have to pretty, just has to be permanent. So I used a dremel and etched it in myself. Ended up being about 18" long with 1" tall font. He said it was fine.
Theres your answer.... I was going to say for the one time, go to Harbor Freight and get a set of their Chinese stamps
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:49 AM
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Get a punch set and do it yourself. If your worried go to a different inspection station. I did once myself.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:00 AM
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I bought a set and re-stamped the serial # as well as my initials in a hidden spot.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:29 AM
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It would prolly cost you more to talk to a guy in the machine shop than it would to buy a set of stamps/punches at Harbor or Northern
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:07 PM
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I bought a set of punch/stamp letters from Northern. In three separate places I stamped my name and drivers license number on the trailer. Any police officer would immediately recognize these numbers and be be able to go to his petrol car and ID me. We call these numbers TX numbers. I also stamped the Trailer ser.# in three different places...........
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:27 PM
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Had to do this many years ago upon moving to Nevada...State suggested I rent the stamping set from a local hardware store in Reno! Was cheap, easy, & legal!!
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerno View Post
Many things have the VIN stamped more than one place, so you may find the number was, uh, stamped on the other frame rail too.
Now that you mention it, I get the feeling I will find the full number stamped on another place on the trailer. It was just in a place that we couldn't see very well last week. Who would have thought.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:27 PM
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The Dremel etching sounds like a good option if I can't easily lay my hands on a set of stamping punches.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CONCHY CRACKER View Post
It would prolly cost you more to talk to a guy in the machine shop than it would to buy a set of stamps/punches at Harbor or Northern
......I was thinking more along the lines of buying the guy a coffee or throwing him a couple of bucks to borrow his stamps right there in the parking lot. I don't know how you can get much cheaper than that! The next cheapest I can figure would be to go down to a rental shop and rent theirs for 5 - 10 minutes....that's got to be pretty damn cheap as well! You guys really need to be thinking outside the box, not from under the closed lid.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:46 AM
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Hey Rondebmar, nice patch. I have my Dad's old flight jacket with the same one along with a VS-34 patch.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:49 PM
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Any ideas regarding whether the cheap set like this - http://www.harborfreight.com/36-piec...set-35121.html - will actually mark the galvanized steel trailer or whether one made for harder steel, up to Rockwell 50, is needed like this one - http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too..._349984_349984 ? It is $8 vs. $30. No use buying the cheaper one if it won't mark the steel.

Also, I guess I will need to spray it with a galvanizing paint spray to keep rust away and make it look somewhat natural.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:51 AM
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You can get a Stamping Set from Harbor Freight, starting out at $9.00 to $20.00 depending on the size number and letter. You should be able to just stamp the VIN from your Title or Registration onto the Tongue of your trailer.
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