What Is VMRS? Going Back To Basics

Over the past few decades, fleet management has undergone significant changes and transformations. In today’s dynamic business environment, fleets are becoming larger, more complex, and must meet the growing demands of clients and partners.
Naturally, this calls for a standardized system that enables smooth and efficient tracking of diverse aspects of the fleet. This is where VMRS enters the scene.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the following:

  • What is VMRS?
  • Why is VMRS important?
  • How can you read VMRS codes?
  • Tips for entering VMRS codes like a pro


Let’s dive right into it.

What is VMRS?

In previous articles, we’ve explained in detail how VMRS developed and revolutionized the trucking industry. We’ve also talked about how VMRS can come in handy when it comes to growing your fleet.

But let’s go back to basics and explore what VMRS actually is.

In short, VMRS, which stands for Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards, is a system of codes developed to facilitate the computerized tracking of parts, maintenance, and repair activities for fleets.

Introduced by the American Trucking AssociationsTechnology & Maintenance Council (TMC), VMRS provides a common language for equipment description, allowing for a standardized method of recording equipment and maintenance data, regardless of the manufacturer or supplier.

In the world of fleet management, VMRS plays a crucial role for several reasons.

The importance of VMRS in fleet management

VMRS coding is a valuable asset from several perspectives. It provides a standardized system that can be used across organizations. It enables clear and efficient communication between teams and companies. It minimizes data entry mistakes associated with manual entry. 

In addition, VMRS creates opportunities for performance records and enhances safety and compliance.

Let’s look at all of these points in more detail.

Standardized coding system

At its core, VMRS gives the fleet industry access to a universal language. By assigning unique codes to different parts, assemblies, and maintenance actions, VMRS guarantees that regardless of your location or who you’re communicating with, the language of fleet management remains the same.

This uniformity streamlines the process of tracking and maintaining fleet assets, mainly when working with different vendors or across different regions.

Clear and efficient communication

Misunderstandings are inevitable in fleet management, especially when there isn’t a well-organized system to abide by. And in most cases, this can lead to costly mistakes.

With VMRS, there’s less room for misinterpretation and confusion. Whether communicating a needed repair or ordering parts, using a standardized code means everyone is on the same page, eliminating errors and improving the efficiency of operations.

In a nutshell, if you want to achieve efficient communication between fleet operators, maintenance teams, and suppliers, VMRS coding is the way to go. At the end of the day, it can lead to quicker problem resolution and minimize downtime, ultimately improving the overall efficiency of fleet management.

Reliable information and fewer data entry errors

Data entry errors can be a thorn in the side of any operation. Luckily, VMRS codes provide a structured framework for recording maintenance and repair data.

This structure minimizes data entry errors by ensuring critical information is recorded accurately. It also empowers fleet managers to maintain reliable maintenance history records, which is essential for decision-making, warranty tracking, and predicting future maintenance needs.

Overall, VMRS reduces the chances of manual entry mistakes, resulting in more reliable and trustworthy data.

Performance records

VMRS not only aids in the communication and procurement of parts but also plays a pivotal role in tracking the performance of fleet assets.

VMRS allows for the detailed tracking of equipment and vehicle performance. Using specific codes, fleet managers can document repairs, replacements, and improvements to individual components, providing a comprehensive record of each unit’s history.

This data is vital when assessing the fleet’s overall performance and identifying the most cost-effective maintenance strategies.

Improved safety and compliance

Remember that safety and compliance are paramount in the fleet industry, no matter the size of your fleet.

By maintaining up-to-date VMRS records, fleet managers can demonstrate compliance with safety standards and prove that maintenance tasks are performed promptly and appropriately, reducing the risk of accidents and regulatory fines.

How do you read VMRS codes?

The VMRS encompasses a total of 64 distinct code keys. While it’s optional to be familiar with all of them, understanding those pertinent to your operations is vital.

For instance, code key 33 pinpoints specific components, 34 identifies manufacturers, 14 outlines the causes for a repair request, 15 highlights the tasks carried out, and 18 sheds light on why a component might have malfunctioned.

VMRS codes are typically a sequence of numbers that represent specific information about a part or a service action.

These codes are divided into various systems and assemblies, making pinpointing the exact component or service in question easy. Each code segment denotes a specific category, from the system or assembly down to the individual part or task.

By learning and understanding the structure of these codes, one can quickly determine the specifics of a maintenance task or part.

Reading VMRS codes may seem daunting at first, but with some guidance, it becomes a straightforward process.

VMRS codes are typically composed of five levels. Here’s how to read them:

  • Level 1: Major System – This level identifies the primary system or component being described. For example – 01 – Engine and Related Systems
  • Level 2: Assembly – This level specifies the assembly or subsystem within the major system. For example – 013 – Fuel Injection System
  • Level 3: Component – Level 3 details the specific component within the assembly. For example – 0133 – Fuel Injection
  • Level 4: Failure Mode – This level indicates the specific issue or failure mode of the component. For example – 01335 – Clogged Fuel Injector
  • Level 5: Cause – Level 5 explains the root cause or reason for the failure mode. For example – 013356 – Dirt Buildup in Fuel Injector

VMRS data-entry tips

No matter how experienced fleet managers and owners are, navigating the world of VMRS can be daunting, especially regarding data entry.

Here are some tips that can make the process more efficient and effective.

Stick to a process when logging equipment information

It’s essential to have a straightforward and streamlined method for recording detailed equipment information. Having a set process guarantees consistency in data entry, making it easier to analyze and interpret the data later.

In addition, you ensure that all team members can follow the process, eliminating confusion and chaos.

Never underestimate the value of future data

What might seem like an insignificant piece of information today can prove invaluable tomorrow.

Always log as much data as possible into your fleet management of fleet maintenance software. Over time, trends and patterns may emerge from data points that once seemed inconsequential.

Consistency is key: Use VMRS language universally

To make the most of VMRS, ensure its language is used consistently across all tools and systems.

This ensures that data is comparable and there are no translation errors when analyzing or sharing data.

Harness the power of data for insights

Data is only as good as what you do with it.

Regularly review and analyze the VMRS data you collect. Search for trends, anomalies, and patterns. This can offer insights into the efficiency of your fleet, potential areas of concern, and opportunities for improvement.

Utilize VMRS coding to the fullest with Fleetpal

In the world of fleet management, VMRS is an indispensable tool that simplifies communication, reduces errors, and enhances decision-making. By implementing VMRS effectively and following best practices for data entry, fleet managers can streamline their operations, improve safety and compliance, and ultimately save time and resources.

Combining the power of VMRS coding with an advanced fleet maintenance solution can help you revolutionize the performance of your fleet. Get in touch with our team, and let us show you how Fleetpal can help you achieve this.

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Mike Valnev