VMRS Codes: More Relevant Than Ever

With the average age of fleet trucks creeping higher, the VMRS system of codifying parts and repairs has never been more valuable to fleets

VMRS (Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards) has been in use since 1970 and the visionaries who developed it might not recognize it today. The basic foundations of VMRS are still the same, but the content has greatly expanded. VMRS was developed as a standardized coding convention for tracking equipment assets and maintenance repairs for a variety of industries. The Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations has been the custodian of VMRS since 1997. Its mission has been to insure that VMRS is current and responsive to changing industries and technologies.

Prior to VMRS, maintenance reporting lacked any standardization or agreement as to what should or should not be recorded. Many fleets lacked a method to communicate and compare maintenance statistics. Without this reporting ability a fleet's statistics were meaningless, and so a standardized method was needed to provide the data. VMRS was the answer; it provided the means for fleets to gather reports and communicate with each other as well.

Through the use of VMRS (a series of data sets known as code keys) equipment managers could now capture data related to the maintenance and repair of their equipment and store it for future reference. The unique aspect of VMRS was the seamless adaption it made to computer software, and VMRS quickly became the standard language of maintenance software (Prior to the advent of computers VMRS information was gathered on a specially-designed series of repair orders that are still available from TMC).

The objective of VMRS was to develop a uniform method for capturing, recording and comparing maintenance information including equipment, parts and labor. It established uniform terms for indentifying equipment and recording labor in a consistent manner. VMRS developed a way to identify parts in a standardized manner and provide a uniform basis for comparing results. VMRS established code keys, individual "data sets" of very specific information that could be used to describe a piece of equipment and the maintenance done to that piece of equipment.


Initially 34 "Code Keys" were developed to cover all aspects of equipment, manufacturers, parts and labor. There are currently 64 "Code Keys' contained in VMRS.

The number of individual part descriptions (Code Key 33) has grown to over 24,000 and the manufacturers/suppliers/brand names (Code Key 34) now contains over 3,000 entries. VMRS reflects the latest technologies and companies in the equipment maintenance field and continues to expand.

As the custodian of VMRS, TMC licenses VMRS to a diverse community of users. The licensees include traditional over-the-road fleets, municipalities, utility companies, software firms, educators, and OEMs. Licensees currently pay a one-time fee for the right to use and distribute VMRS. There are three licensing levels to VMRS;

  • Single User Version--The licensee is entitled to use the electronic media version on a single computer workstation; the materials may not be used by more than one user on a computer network.
  • Enterprise Version--The licensee may make copies of the materials for use by multiple users with the enterprise or place the material on a computer network for use within the enterprise.
  • Developer Version--The licensee may make copies of the materials and distribute them solely as part of another product.


An important aspect of VMRS is the availability of updated codes. Enterprise and Developer licensees receive updates during the year as part of their licensing agreement.

The VMRS codes are dynamic, and new codes are added to the database on a weekly basis. The licensees are notified that the new codes are available and are directed to an FTP site where the codes are stored. They can retrieve the codes and import them into their respective systems or pass them along to their customers in the case of a maintenance software company.

This content continues onto the next page...

We Recommend