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The ABCs of VMRS Codes

Posted in Fleet Maintenance on March 2, 2015

What Are VMRS Codes?

Developed in 1970 by the American Trucking Association, VMRS codes are a structured coding system that provides a universal language to help fleets, original equipment manufacturers, maintenance personnel and repair shops communicate about, capture and report on maintenance activities.


VMRS codes are used to describe causes, corrections, complaints, components, operating systems, equipment, types of work and virtually any other aspect of maintenance work or element of trucks, tractors, forklifts, trailers, shop equipment, utility vehicles and more. VMRS codes are maintained by the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council, which accepts requests for new codes.

VMRS: Enabling Understanding During Maintenance and Repair Events

Perhaps this would be better titled “the 1, 2, 3s of VMRS” since the code keys for Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS) are actually numeric codes that form the universal language used during vehicle maintenance and repair events.

VMRS enables everyone in the service supply chain to have a complete understanding of what occurred during a repair, and eliminates the need for extensive written communication. Using VMRS correctly helps you to get the most value from your maintenance and repair investment.


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VMRS Codes: Complex Maintenance Data in a Structured Format

Using this common language allows for the organization of very complex maintenance data in a very structured format. But don't get too caught up in trying to memorize the numbers because applications using the “English language” or friendly name definitions make them just part of your everyday vernacular.

Before using VMRS in your operation, it is important to understand its main components. In simple terms, it helps to think about VMRS in four broad categories: assets, service events, repair operations and components.

The ABCs of VMRS Codes

Several Code Keys are used to describe assets. These codes tell you what type of vehicle is being worked on (including trucks, trailers and reefer units), how they are powered and the manufacturer. There are also additional code keys that identify various asset attributes like axle configuration, and length and height measurements.

Quick Definitions of Important VMRS Code Keys

Here's a quick definition for some of the more important Code Keys:

  • Code Key 2: Asset Type — identifies what type of asset is being worked on (truck, trailer, refrigeration unit, etc.).
  • Code Key 5: Power Source — identifies how the asset is powered (i.e. diesel, LNG, CNG, etc.).
  • Code Key 14: Reason for Repair Codes — identifies what caused the asset to be taken to the shop. There are approximately 40 different codes in this category, including PM, inspection and breakdown.
  • Code Key 15: Work Accomplished Codes — identifies via a two-digit code what the technician did to the asset. There are about 50 different codes in this category including align, clean and replace with new.
  • Code Key 18: Technician Failure Codes — identifies why the technician believes a part has failed. There are more than 90 key codes in this category including dented and improper weld, leaking oil, crushed, etc.
  • Code Key 31: System Level Codes — a three-digit number that identifies the system involved in the repair (brakes, for example).
  • Code Key 32: Assembly Level Codes — used to further define the system (front brakes, for example).
  • Code Key 33: Component Level Codes — a three-digit number that identifies the part; this is not the manufacturer's part number, but rather a generic term for the part (front brake lining, for example).
  • Code Key 34: Manufacturer/Supplier Brand Identification — a five-character alphabetic code to identify the maker of the part.
  • Code Key 79 — Location of Repair — describes the specific location of the repair work.
  • Code Key 82 — Operator Report/Complaint — lists the driver's description of symptoms the asset is experiencing.

How VMRS Codes Help You Boost Profitability and Uptime

VMRS codes do much more than improve reporting. When used consistently in your maintenance and repair operations, VMRS codes facilitate faster triage, better decision-making and insights that help you run your fleet maintenance more efficiently. To learn more about how VMRS codes boost your bottom line, watch our free on-demand webinar, VMRS: The Numbers that Drive Profitability and Uptime.

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Topics: Fleet Maintenance