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Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS)

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Formerly known as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS) - The survey name was changed to account for areas of future expansion, including the addition of automobiles and buses.


To measure the physical and operational characteristics of the Nation's truck population. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


Private and commercial trucks registered (or licensed) in the United States as of July 1 of the survey year. The survey excludes vehicles owned by Federal, state, or local governments; ambulances; buses; motor homes; farm tractors; unpowered trailer units; and trucks reported to have been sold, junked, or wrecked prior to July 1 of the year preceding the survey.


Data on physical characteristics include date of purchase, weight, number of axles, overall length, type of engine, and body type. Operational characteristics data include type of use, lease characteristics, operator classification, base of operation, gas mileage, annual and lifetime miles driven, weeks operated, commodities hauled by type, and hazardous materials carried. Less detailed physical characteristics data are collected for pickups, vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles because they are relatively homogenous in design and use.


Data collection begins in January following the census year and continues for approximately 9 months. Reported data are for activity during the census calendar year. Data is collected every 5 years since 1963, for years ending in "2" and "7."


A mail-out/mail-back survey of selected trucks; large truck owners receive a standard form, and small truck owners (pickups, vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles) receive a short form. A stratified random sample of registered trucks is selected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Samples are selected by state and stratified mainly by body type. Owners report data only for the vehicles selected.


The Geographic Area Series consists of 52 data releases available on a flow basis from 10 to 22 months after the census year, one for the United States, each state, and the District of Columbia. All files are released on the Internet as PDF (portable document format) files. The United States release is also available in hard copy. A microdata CD-ROM, which is available about 26 months after the census year, contains unaggregated records for individual trucks by state. The records are masked to avoid possible disclosure of individual vehicles or owners.


The Department of Transportation uses the data for analysis of cost allocation, safety issues, proposed investments in new roads and technology, and user fees. The Environmental Protection Agency uses the data to determine per mile vehicle emission estimates, vehicle performance and fuel economy, and fuel conservation practices of the trucking industry. The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data as a part of the framework for the national investment and personal consumption expenditures component of the Gross Domestic Product.

Tire manufacturers use the data to calculate the longevity of products and to determine the usage, vocation, and applications of their products. Heavy machinery manufacturers use the data to track the importance of various parts distribution and service networks. Truck manufacturers use the data to determine the impact of certain types of equipment on fuel efficiency.


Provides the only source of statistics for trucks that identify physical and operational characteristics.


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