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.


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.