Developed in 1970 by and for equipment users under the auspices of the American Trucking Association, VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards) provides a “universal” language for maintenance personnel, computers, and management. The latest version of this coding convention, VMRS 2000 represents a significant step forward in the evolution of VMRS.

Today, equipment users worldwide use VMRS to capture and report their vehicle maintenance activities. Equipment manufacturers use VMRS coding for parts and assemblies, as well as warranty management.

Dossier embraces the VMRS system, structure, and coding. It allows you to easily harness the power of this classification system to analyze your maintenance parts and labor spending in literally any way you desire.

What is VMRS & Why Should We Use It With Our Fleet?

VMRS 2000™ is the latest version of the VMRS coding convention, established more than 25 years ago. VMRS 2000 represents a significant step forward in the evolution of VMRS.

Based on user requests, TMC has:

  • Increased the capacity of Code Key 33 (9-Digit System/Assembly/Component) to track vehicle systems by adding a ninth digit to the basic eight-digit code. VMRS can now accommodate growth for up to 1000 distinct vehicle systems, a 900 percent increase from the original 100.
  • Thoroughly reviewed Code Key 33 for inconsistencies in coding, language, descriptions, etc., to ensure consistent use of the coding convention industry-wide.
  • Strong support from the ATA-Technology Maintenance Council.
  • Revised Code Key 34, which is used to identify manufacturers, suppliers, and brands. The new Code Key 34 is based on the Dun and Bradstreet “DUNS Number™”, an internationally recognized corporate identifier. VMRS 2000 still retains the five-character alpha manufacturer code used since 1970, preferred by most fleets. But, the new nine-digit identifier allows companies to identify parent- subsidiary relationships and obtain vital statistics on the organizations contained within Code Key 34.
  • Expanded Code Keys 1, 2, 10 and 48, which describe equipment categories, vocations, and body types. These codes now accommodate many industries beyond trucking, such as transit, off-highway and construction industries.
  • Added Position Codes to VMRS. Code Key 79 allows VMRS users to identify position based on industry-accepted conventions.
  • Added warranty related Code Keys, such as Code Key 81: Type of Claim.
  • Improved the VMRS Implementation Handbook, by upgrading text and graphics, and making available a wholly electronic version of VMRS, for easy implementation into existing computer systems.
  • Established a VMRS 2000 licensing program to encourage consistent industry use
    of VMRS.

A Structured Coding System

VMRS is a structured coding system, providing the discipline necessary to operate in today’s computer-based information age or — where desired — as a completely manual system. Simple in concept, VMRS can be used at any level, from total operating systems down to the individual part level. The level of coding used is entirely up to the user.
One can modify the coding level at any time without the need to redesign the coding structure or implement costly new programs. No matter which level the user selects, the data collected can be compared directly to data collected by others at the same or higher VMRS coding level. The coding structure encompasses most equipment found within today’s transportation activities including trucks, tractors, trailers, forklifts, shop equipment, refuse equipment, off-road vehicles, utility vehicles, etc.

Recognized Internationally

Today, equipment users worldwide use VMRS to capture and report their vehicle maintenance activities. Equipment manufacturers and maintenance software suppliers use VMRS coding for parts, thus providing additional impetus for fleets to adopt this universal coding scheme.

A complete service industry has grown up around VMRS, with a number of firms offering VMRS computerized reporting systems and/or services to fleets. If your software provider doesn’t use VMRS coding, this manual will help you help them
implement it for your mutual benefit.

15 Distinct Advantages to Using VMRS

  1. VMRS is Easy to Use—VMRS was designed for use at the shop level. Accurate and easily understood reporting by the mechanic is essential if any information system is to succeed. At the higher level, management must understand what the mechanic has accomplished. VMRS meets both criteria.
  2. VMRS is Cost Effective—TMC has undertaken the initial cost normally associated with developing such a system. The practicality of the system has been proven, in that VMRS has been in continuous use since 1970. TMC keeps the system dynamic, thus eliminating the need for individual users to continually research and update their system.
  3. Follows Accepted Accounting Practices—Structured VMRS code allows the user to comply with the needs of most recognized accounting disciplines. VMRS allows accounting personnel the flexibility to massage the data to meet both their immediate and long-term needs.
  4. VMRS Enables Sound Budgeting—VMRS provides a sound basis for budget preparation and forecasting based on fleet mix, projected utilization, and historic performance. Requests for additional mechanics, increased parts inventory, special equipment, or expanded facilities can readily be supported by data captured using VMRS. VMRS is invaluable in determining how many vehicles are required to support a given workload. The same data can be used to determine the mechanic/parts mix required to support various equipment mixes and utilization criteria.
  5. VMRS Helps Control Costs—VMRS provides detailed records of the maintenance activity comprising both vehicles and facilities. It identifies where monies were spent, at which point in a vehicle’s life repairs were performed, and details the expenses incurred in the supporting activity. Distribution between parts and labor is an inherent part of the VMRS reporting structure, thus allowing analysis of what occurred and when. This is important in determining the cause-and-effect relationship of maintenance.
  6. VMRS Improves Facility Management—VMRS provides the ideal basis for establishing a facility management program. The coding structure provides the basis for complete labor and material distribution, direct and indirect, thus allowing management the opportunity to analyze in detail each cost segment. With this information, management can take whatever action is deemed appropriate to correct those situations which appear out of line. This information provides the necessary input for most purchasing decisions.
  7. VMRS Tracks Labor Distribution—VMRS provides complete labor distribution covering both direct and indirect labor.
  8. VMRS Helps Control Parts Inventory—VMRS was developed, and is used within the industry, as the basis of many successful parts inventory control systems. Some fleets have developed their own systems using VMRS, while others utilize off-the-shelf programs designed and built around the VMRS coding structure. VMRS provides complete details as to parts use, thus identifying which part should be inventoried and which should be procured on an “as required” basis. For those states having an Inventory Tax, VMRS provides documented back-up.
  9. VMRS Supports Warranty Claims—The VMRS coding structure incorporates the capability to record and isolate those costs normally associated with warranty. Being a universal language, accepted and endorsed by vehicle manufacturers and industry suppliers, VMRS provides the ideal audit trail for instituting and supporting warranty claims. New Code Keys have been developed exclusively for warranty, such as Code Key 81: Type of Claim. Others are being developed, too.
  10. VMRS Improves Preventive Maintenance Programs—VMRS provides the ideal basis for determining the effectiveness of the PM program. Are PMs being performed too often or not often enough? Should PM intervals or their scopes be modified based on specific failures reported through maintenance reporting? What staffing is required to perform PMs? VMRS provides the answers.
  11. VMRS Helps Benchmark Equipment and Labor Productivity—Standards provide data necessary for measuring labor productivity. The relationship between direct and indirect labor can be evaluated and changes implemented as needed. Parts/labor ratios can be established that provide the lowest overall maintenance costs. VMRS provides thebasis for establishing the economic breakpoint between parts replacement andparts repair. Vehicle utilization, an important ingredient in transportation, is impacted by maintenance. VMRS provides the means for recording downtime and identifying the specific reason for excessive delays.
  12. VMRS Helps Benchmark Component Performance—VMRS provides the data for measuring performance and reliability of specific components and/or parts. A determination can be made of first failure (normally attributed to the equipment manufacturer) and subsequent failure (normally attributed to maintenance).
  13. VMRS Assists in Equipment Replacement Decisions—VMRS can substantiate requests for new or replacement equipment based on current rather than historic information. Maintenance support requirements can be determined for each class of vehicle operated. This allows management to quickly determine whether it is more economical to replace or repair and what support is required in the way of labor and material for any combination of new and/or used equipment.
  14. VMRS Satisfies Reporting Requirements—VMRS allows fleets to fulfill the ever-changing reporting requirements dictated by government agencies.
  15. VMRS-Compatible Software is Widely Available—Many software suppliers currently offer complete turnkey VMRS-based maintenance programs. Many of these can provide custom-made reports to suit the specific needs of the user. Software is also available from a number of sources allowing in-house processing
    of VMRS.

What Are the Basic Requirements for Implementing VMRS?

All external reporting and data interchange must adhere to VMRS coding conventions as defined herein or further described in this VMRS 2000 Implementation Handbook. Internal reporting may use other techniques; however, all external interchange of information must be converted to VMRS using direct correlations. No assumptions, proration, or averages can be used in any conversions.

Full implementation of VMRS 2000 uses nine key VMRS components. Unless each of nine items listed below can be checked “yes,” the user is not implementing VMRS 2000 correctly and will be unable to obtain credible or meaningful direct comparisons from any VMRS data base or other VMRS participant.

Does the System Do the Following?

  • Use the VMRS Vehicle Master Record.
  • Identify Equipment Vocation — Code Key 1.
  • Segregate costs by Reason for Repair — Code Key 14
  • Identify work accomplished using VMRS Coding — Code Key 15
  • At minimum, identify systems via the three-digit VMRS System Code — Code Key 31
  • For more detail, identify assemblies via the three-digit VMRS Assembly Code — Code Key 32
  • For more detail, identify individual parts via the three-digit VMRS Component Code — Code Key 33.
  • Identify part/vehicle manufacturers, suppliers or brands universally using — Code Key 34.
  • Have the capability to record VMRS Technician Part Failure Codes — Code Key 18.

Let’s now look at each of these nine VMRS components to see how VMRS works.

The Vehicle Master Record

What is a Vehicle? A vehicle is not just a year, make, and model of equipment, but rather a unique series of components assembled to perform a specific task. Under VMRS, each of these components can be followed and monitored on an independent basis or as a total vehicle. The sum of the costs of maintaining the components represents total vehicle maintenance cost.

VMRS uses a Vehicle Master Record (similar to a birth certificate) to record many of the items appearing on the
manufacturer’s line set tickets. The Vehicle Master Record Form allows for consolidation of data from all manufacturers into a uniform format.

Equipment Vocation Codes – Code Key 1

Each vehicle must be clearly identified as being assigned to a specific mission, identifiable within the VMRS coding system. To this end, VMRS employs the coding structure originally developed by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) for use in its Uniform System of Accounts. However, TMC has expanded these codes to meet additional equipment user needs.

Using Code Key 1, for example, allows linehaul costs to be identified and separated from pickup and delivery and/or other vehicle assignments.

Code Key 1 identifies the primary activity or vocation to which the unit has been assigned—”what the vehicle does.” The first digit of the code corresponds to the activities defined under the Interstate Commerce Commission’s Uniform System of Accounts (for those codes beginning with a numeral). The second digit of the code provides a further subdivision to permit a more definitive identification of the activity to which the unit has been assigned. Additional codes are available through TMC for those equipment operations that do not fall into the following categories.

Code Equipment Activity

10 Linehaul (non-refrigerated)
11 Combination Service (predominately linehaul, non-refrigerated)
12 Linehaul (refrigerated)
13 Combination Service (predominately linehaul, refrigerated)
20 Pickup and Delivery (non-refrigerated)
21 Combination Service (predominately pickup and delivery, non-refrigerated)
22 Pickup and Delivery (refrigerated)
23 Combination Service (predominately pickup and delivery, refrigerated)
30 Billing and Collecting
40 Platform
50 Terminal/Warehouse/Plant
60 Maintenance
70 Traffic and Sales
80 Insurance and Safety
90 General and Administration
A1 Airport / Airport Support /Ground Support Vehicles
B1 Construction
C1 Farm / Agriculture
D1 Fire Service
E1 Heavy Haul
F1 Logging
G1 Mining
H1 Oil Field
K1 Recreation
L1 Refuse / Recycle Vehicle
M1 Rescue / Crash Vehicle
N1 Utility
P1 Wrecker / Recovery Vehicle
Q1 Military Vehicle
S1 Earth Moving/Land Clearing
T1 Demolition

Combinations of Code Keys together can be used as a numerical sentence to describe various aspects of labor or equipment. For example, Code Keys 1, 2, and 48 can be used together to generate a single code that describes what a vehicle is, what it does and what special body type it has.

For example: “1-10-185” identifies a truck (Code Key 2), used in pickup and delivery service (Code Key 1), with a special walk-in refrigerated van type body (Code Key 48). VMRS 2000 calls these numerical sentences “Instructional Sets.”

Reason for Repair Codes – Code Key 14

Identifying what caused a vehicle to come in for repair is a fundamental prerequisite of VMRS. VMRS requires separation of monies spent in each of the three following categories:

  1. Maintenance—This represents all monies spent on a vehicle to keep it operational, and which would affect management’s decision—would they buy that vehicle or select that specific component again? Monies spent in this category directly influence the replacement decision.
  2. Management Decision—This category identifies and isolates all monies spent which are neither the vehicle’s nor manufacturer’s fault and over which management has direct control. An example would be incorporating new logos into the decor of the vehicle.
  3. Outside Influence—Those items, over which neither the manufacturer nor the user have direct control, are classified in this category. Under VMRS, each of the major groupings listed previously is further subdivided into a series of specific “Reason for Repair” codes.

Maintenance Code Item

01 Breakdown
02 Consumption, Fuel
03 Consumption, Oil
04 Driver’s Report
05 Routine Inspection
06 Lubrication
07 Pre-Delivery
08 PM
09 Rework
10 Road Call
11 Routine

Management Decision Code Item

21 Capital Improvement
22 Conversion
23 Modification
24 Special Study

Outside Influence Code Item

31 Accident, Non-Reported
32 Accident, Reported
33 Manufacturer’s Recall
34 Statutory Inspection
35 Statutory Modification
36 Theft
37 Vandalism
38 Warranty
39 Act of God

Work Accomplished Codes – Code Key 15

Classifying the work performed by the mechanic is important. For example, there is considerable difference between inspecting, adjusting, or repairing brakes. The original VMRS Codes Committee determined, and rightfully so, that use of such terms as major and minor would not suffice, as these terms left too much interpretation to the user. As a result, a series of two-digit work accomplished codes were developed. Each code specifically identifies what work was accomplished by the mechanic at the time the work was performed. The codes are briefly summarized below:

Code Work Accomplished

01 Adjust
02 Clean
03 Replace New
04 Replace Rebuilt
05 Replace Used
06 Inspect
07 Lubricate
08 Overhaul
13 Other Mnt Repair
14 Install
15 Paint Prep, & Repaint
17 Add Fluids
18 Road Test
19 Rewire / Wire
20 Towing
21 Fabricate/Weld/Burn
24 Repair
25 Remove
30 Work Incomplete
98 In Frame Overhaul
99 Out of Chassis Overhaul
A PM Level A
B PM Level B
C PM Level C
D PM Level D
E PM Level E
F PM Level F
G PM Level G
H PM Level H
O PM Level O

VMRS System Level Codes – Code Key 31

VMRS 2000 uses a series of three-digit descriptor codes that readily and consistently identify the specific systems involved. While these codes are the heart of the “common language” of VMRS and are a vital part of the VMRS concept, they are by themselves nothing more than coding conventions designed for use at all levels within the industry, from fleets to mechanics to manufacturers to suppliers of parts. For example, brakes are identified as a system by system code 013.

The codes in Code Key 31 are listed briefly as follows:

Cab, Climate Control, Instrumentation and Aerodynamic Devices Code System

001 Air Conditioning, Heating, and Ventilating System
002 Cab and Sheet Metal
003 Instruments, Gauges (All), and Meters
004 Aerodynamic Devices

Chassis Code System

011 Axles Front—Non-Driven
012 Axles Rear—Non-Driven
013 Brakes
014 Frame
015 Steering
016 Suspension
017 Tires
018 Wheels, Rim, Hubs, and Bearings
019 Automatic Chassis Lubricator

Drivetrain Code System

021 Axle Driven—Front Steering
022 Axle Driven—Rear
023 Clutch
024 Drive Shaft(s)
025 Power Take Off
026 Transmission—Main, Manual
027 Transmission—Main, Automatic
028 Transmission—Auxiliary and Transfer Case
029 Auxiliary Section (Transmission—Main, Manual)


031 Charging System
032 Cranking System
033 Ignition System
034 Lighting System

Engines Code System

041 Air Intake System
042 Cooling System
043 Exhaust System
044 Fuel System
045 Power Plant
046 Electric Propulsion System
047 Filter Kits (Multi-Piece)

Accessories Code System

051 General Accessories (for power units, trailers, etc.)
052 Electrical Accessories (for power units, trailers, etc.)
053 Expendable Items (for power units, trailers, etc.)
054 Horns and Mounting and Reverse Signal Alarms
055 Cargo Handling, Restraints and Lift Systems (for power units, trailers, etc.)
056 Power Take Off
057 Spare Wheel Mounting
058 Winch (for power units, trailers, etc.)
059 Vehicle Coupling

Special Applications Code System

061 Terminal Equipment Systems and Accessories
065 Hydraulic Systems

Bodies and Vessels Code System

071 Body (except bulk carrier body)
072 Rear Wall and Door
073 Tank Vessel, inner shell
074 Tank Vessel, outer jacket
075 Manholes
076 Rings and Bolsters
077 Trailer Frame and Support
078 Trim and Miscellaneous Hardware
079 Safety Devices

Heating and Refrigeration Code System

081 Heating Unit (for power units, trailers, etc.)
082 Refrigeration, Mechanical (for power units, trailers, etc.)
083 Refrigeration, Nitrogen (for power units, trailers, etc.)
084 Refrigeration, Holdover Plate (for power units, trailers, etc.)

Bulk Product Transfer Systems Code System

091 Blowers, Conveyors, and Vibrators (for power units, trailers, etc.)
092 Compressor, Bulk Product Systems (for power units, trailers, etc.)
094 Engine, Auxiliary (for power units, trailers, etc.)
095 Manifold (for power units, trailers, etc.)
096 Power Shaft (for power units, trailers, etc.)
097 Pump (for power units, trailers, etc.)
098 Valves and Controls (for power units, trailers, etc.)
099 Safety Devices, Instruments and Gauges (for power units, trailers, etc.)

Assembly Level Codes – Code Key 32

Through the use of assembly level codes, VMRS provides additional capability to further define Code Key 31’s System Codes. The first classification below the system level is referred to as the assembly. At this level, all major groupings within each system are broken out and reported through the use of a three digit code. These, when used with their system prefix, identify the specific assembly within a vehicle. For example, front brakes and drums can be identified by a combination of the System and Assembly Code 013-001. A complete listing of Code Key 32 appears elsewhere in the VMRS 2000 Implementation Handbook

Component Level Codes – Code Key 33

In order to provide a common generic term for each part within a vehicle, the system and assembly codes are further subdivided to the component level. This is accomplished through the use of an additional three digit part identifier code. These codes should not be confused with the manufacturers’ or suppliers’ unique identification (part) numbers, but rather should be considered universal identifiers or generic terms for the part. For example, a front brake lining can be identified by the following combination of System/Assembly/Component codes—013-001-015. A complete listing of Code Key 33 appears elsewhere in the VMRS 2000 Implementation Handbook.

Manufacturer/Supplier/Brand –  Identification Code Key 34

In order not to disturb either the manufacturers’ or suppliers’ unique numbering system, VMRS uses its own generic means of identifying manufacturers, brands and/or suppliers. Two identifiers are offered: a nine-digit numeric code based on the Dun and Bradstreet “DUNS Number,” and a five-character alpha code, assigned by TMC. Both are used as a prefix to the manufacturers’ and/or suppliers’ unique number. It is not the intent of VMRS to supplant the  manufacturers’/suppliers’ unique part numbering systems, but rather to supplement them.

When a Code Key 34 manufacturer’s code and part number are used in conjunction with the VMRS  System / Assembly / Component level codes (Code Key 33), precise identification of a specific part is possible on a universal basis. This commonality of identification on a consistent basis is a prerequisite to developing an industry data base for analysis of maintenance information or for mutually exchanging information on a meaningful basis. A complete listing of Code Key 34 appears elsewhere in the VMRS 2000 Implementation Handbook.

Technician Part Failure Codes – Code Key 18

VMRS has the additional capability of identifying why a mechanic or supervisor thinks a part failed and why.
An example of a technician part failure code is:
22 = Part Misaligned.

Code Key 18 is listed briefly below:

Code Description
00 No Failure
01 Battered, Hammered
02 Burned, Scorched, Melted, Blistered
03 Crushed, Pinched, Folded, Crimped
04 Dented
05 Elongated, Stretched
06 Faded, Dulled Finish
07 Improper Fluid Level
08 Improper Electrical Value
09 Insufficient Clearance, Rubs
10 Bent
11 Binds, Sticks
12 Broken
13 Chipped, Pitted
14 Cracked
15 Foreign Material Present
16 Glazed
17 Insufficient Lubrication
18 Leaking
19 Loose
20 Lubrication or Oil Soaked
21 Misadjusted
22 Misaligned
23 Not Connected
24 Not Drilled
25 Out of Balance
26 Out of Round
27 Overheated
28 Part Improperly Installed
29 Part Omitted
30 Poor Fit, Wrong Size
31 Poor Metal Finish
32 Porosity
33 Registers Incorrectly
34 Rough
35 Rusted or Corroded
36 Scored or Scratched
37 Seized
38 Shorted
39 Soiled or Stained
40 Stripped
41 Torn, Punctured or Split
42 Warped, Twisted
43 Weak
44 Worn
45 Wrong Part
46 Lost or Missing
47 High Pressure
48 Low Pressure
49 Cut or Rubbed
50 Hard or Brittle
51 Inoperative
52 Leaking Air
53 Leaking Compression
54 Leaking Exhaust
55 Leaking Fuel
56 Leaking Oil
57 Leaking Refrigerant
58 Leaking Water
59 Moisture, Condensation
60 Noisy
61 Oil Passing
62 Improper Fabrication
64 Plugged
66 Vibration
99 Replaced Before Failure
70 Underspray
71 Overspray
72 Peeled, Flaked, Bubbled
73 Orange Peel
74 Runs, Sags


In summary, there are nine basic, integral parts to VMRS 2000, each interrelated to the other. Independently they cannot be considered VMRS any more than a chassis by itself can be considered a truck. VMRS, by its very concept, requires complete integration of all elements in the same manner that all parts of a vehicle must be considered when reviewing the entire vehicle.

The codes listed above are not the complete list of codes. Due to ever expanding equipment lines and the continual development of new technology, the VMRS Coding System will continue to increase.