Trailer paper

I’m printing with a 4880 and I’m a little confused about the instructions involving the piece of paper to be used as a “trailer.” Is it just basically taped to the back? I assume it’s talking about loading the paper from the front and spooling it around and it makes sense to have a sort of backing to protect it, but then then the documentation mentions something like it will be hanging out of the back of the printer? Any further explanation would be good, a picture would be incredible!


Thanks for for the help!

You shouldn’t need to use a trailer (or leader) unless you need to print closer to the trailing or leading edge of your transparency film than the feed mechanism will allow. I don’t actually remember that particular item from the manual. What page is it on?

I have a 4880 that I was intending to use for PiezoDN, but it suffered a total electrical failure while I was in the process of switching the inksets a couple months ago. Replacing the power board did not fix it. I’ve given up on it but I have a bunch of spare parts that I never got to install if you happen to need anything. Not to mention the printer itself which could be parted out. I’ve been reluctant to do anything with it, but I really could use the space it inhabits.

So is the best way to load a 13x19 in a 4880 to go through the front and loop around? I guess maybe that’s the only way.

Is there any issue with using roll pictorico. I find the 4880 printer to be such a pain for any media other than roll media.

The trailer info is from the instructions that came with the piezo dn download on page 2:

Securely tape a piece of paper that is the width of the paper you are printing with and at least as long (a little longer is better) to the opposite edge of the paper from the notch. This paper will be falling out the back of the printer as you print the negative. It’s a TRAILER sheet and it keeps the back of the Pictorico from getting star­wheel marks.

With the printer set to sheet­mode and displaying READY, open the feed lever (top right).

Feed your paper in (trailer­sheet first) through the bottom slot where the print comes out and feed it under and past the back rollers. You will notice small white alignment marks on the black paper feed tray. Align your paper to these marks and then hit the paper­feed button again. The printer will accept the paper in “front feed mode” and show “Ready.” Sometimes you need to do this a few times before the printer takes the paper.



This “trailer” carrier sheet keeps the film curled down behind the printer and keeps the internal star wheels from marking the paper.

It also helps because this is the paper that goes into the printer first when front-loading a sheet and if you use a white piece of paper the printer’s sensors will pick it up properly.

It’s useful to front-load with and without this carrier sheet as it may work just fine on your printer without needing it.


I would google “front loading 4800” for instructions on how to front-load paper on this printer.




I wish I could be more helpful about this, but my 4880 will not even turn on. I can say that I did make negs with it using Epson inks before it died, using the sheet feeder, front feed (which I found rather awkward) and manual rear feed, and I never saw any star-wheel marks. Maybe it’s worth testing to see if you need to bother with the “Trailer” sheet.

From my reading of the instructions you quoted, I think it should be called a carrier sheet. The “width of the film and at least as long” (paraphrased by the editor in me!) to me means the size of the film or longer. And star-wheel marks on the back seems to me to mean on the non-ink side, which seems to confirm my interpretation. But maybe I’m misreading it or it is not clearly stated. To me, a Trailer is a strip taped to the trailing end of the film - the opposite of a Leader.

I had intended to use a 17" roll on my 4880. Instead I’ve been cutting sheets from it to use on 3880 and 1430. The only issue I can think of would be dust settling on top of it.