Bureau of Transportation Statistics to relaunch Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey

August 31, 2021

Land Line Staff


After a 20-year absence, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics is bringing back the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey.

The survey, which had been the principal data source on the physical and operational characteristics of the U.S. truck population from the 1960s until 2002, will return in 2022 with the goal of gaining an understanding on how trucks are being utilized for the transport of various goods statewide and nationally.

The full survey will be sent out beginning in February to obtain data on vehicle activity in 2021.  

As in past editions, the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey will cover vehicles from all sectors of the economy and from households. It is sponsored by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau will collect data from heavy trucks, light trucks, pickups, vans, minivans, and SUVs owned by businesses and households, covering such variables as:

  • Miles traveled and fuel economy by weight, type, configuration and age of vehicle
  • Axle configurations, trailers hauled, and operating weight
  • Equipment added after the manufacture of the chassis
  • Business versus personal use and types of economic activity served
  • Commodities carried

“Current VIUS estimates are of critical importance to federal agencies, state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations and businesses,” the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website stated.

Responding to the survey is mandatory, and the Census Bureau intends to close the data collection period in October 2022. Results are expected to be released in 2023.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics said the survey could be beneficial to the trucking industry because:

  • Data is widely used and valued to support trucking research.
  • Current data on the U.S. truck population will allow for better infrastructure and policy decisions.
  • The data has the potential to provide greater insight into the truck parking crisis.
  • Statewide data also will be published, allowing for better decisions on a local level.

More information about the survey can be found at BTS.gov/vius. LL