NAFA Vehicle Classification System

The NAFA Standard Vehicle and Equipment Classification Code has been created to address the deficiencies of the various classification schemes in use today. NAFA recognizes that although there are several widely accepted classification systems in use by various segments of the fleet industry, each is specific to a particular aspect of fleet management, with little commonality between each scheme. This lack of common comparative classifications has resulted in major obstacles to the sharing of data between fleets and has been a significant contributor to the inability of the fleet industry to develop and report usable benchmarking data. The goal of the NAFA classification scheme is to create a coding system that meets the following criteria:

  • A fleet can use it as a vehicle and equipment classification system.

  • It is comprehensive enough to apply to any fleet application.

  • It is flexible enough to be customized to any fleet application

  • It is intuitive such that any given vehicle or equipment fits only one category.

  • Other classification schemes can be cross-referenced into it.

  • It can serve as a reporting standard for comparative purposes.

All vehicle classification systems are based on underlying assumptions that provide the logical structure to the system. The assumptions beneath the NAFA Standard Vehicle and Equipment Classification Code are:

  • A gross vehicle weight based classification system provides the common attributes to compare vehicles from widely different fleets and fleet applications.

  • Operating and maintenance costs have a direct correlation to gross vehicle weight, vehicle type and vehicle function.

A gross vehicle weight based classification system is a conceptual departure from the more common industry and function based classification schemes. The NAFA classification system has intentionally focused on gross physical characteristics in order to apply the system to very different fleets. Function and application categories are relegated to the secondary divisions and are used where they define clear distinctions in maintenance characteristics, such as law enforcement. Clearly, other descriptive characteristics of vehicles and equipment, such as fuel type, engine displacement, or boom extension height are important data elements that should be tracked within a fleet information system. The NAFA classification scheme intentionally excludes these descriptive aspects because they either do not have any direct impact on maintenance, or they are tracked more effectively in other data fields of a fleet information system. These descriptive characteristics are not critical to a classification system designed to group vehicles with similar maintenance characteristics in statistically meaningful quantities. However the NAFA coding system does provide the option of defining

NAFA Code Scheme

The NAFA Standard Vehicle and Equipment Classification Code is a four position numeric coding system that potentially accommodates up to 9999 vehicle classes. The codes are consistently organized within broad segments of the class codes facilitating manipulation within databases. The code names are designed to be intuitive and self descriptive. The code system is configured as follows:

Class Code (Position 1)

The Class Code is based on the gross vehicle weight of the vehicle or equipment and is divided into weight classes commonly used in the fleet industry. Code 0 and 9 are reserved for vehicles and equipment not commonly classified by weight. The weight code is key to a standardized classification of like equipment and corresponds easily to vehicle related legislation such as the Clean Air Act, EPACT and other common classification schemes. The Class Codes are as follows:

  • <8500 GVW

  • 8501 – 10,000 GVW

  • 10,001 – 14,000 GVW

  • 14,001 – 16,000 GVW

  • 16,001 – 19,500 GVW

  • 19,501 – 26,000 GVW

  • 26,001 – 33,000 GVW

  • >33,000 GVW

  • Off Road and Construction

Group Code (Position 2)

The Group Code describes the general physical or operating category of the vehicle or equipment within the class code. Examples would be Attachments, Automobile, Van, or Straight Truck. Group Codes are as follows:

Note that the Group Codes follow a consistent common coding scheme across Class Codes, allowing fleet users maximum flexibility to manipulate data.

Service Code (Position 3)

The Service Code describes the general type of use or application of the vehicle or equipment. Examples would be Air Compressor, Public Utilities, Fire Apparatus or Bus. Like the Group Codes, the Service Codes are internally consistent within the classification system.

Type Code (Position 4)

The Type Code describes the specific functional body type or use of the vehicle or equipment. Examples would be Sedan, Van Ambulance, Flat Bed, or Platform Aerial

User Codes (Position 5 and up)

The User Code is a fleet user defined field that allows the fleet operator to create classification categories to customize the NAFA codes to the specific needs of each fleet. The basic four position NAFA code may be expanded indefinitely to accommodate as many additional fields as the fleet operator may desire. Possible examples could include, backhoe digging depth, bucket size, number of doors, or boom length. However; the fleet operator should only expand the NAFA coding system with due caution. It is not recommended to include categories and characteristics as user codes that are tracked elsewhere in typical fleet information systems, such as fuel type, drive wheel number or engine displacement. Unnecessary extension of the codes may simply duplicate information and may dilute the number of vehicles in any given class to statistical insignificance for analytical purposes.

NAFA Code Revisions and New Classification

Any code scheme must adapt to change in the fleet industry. To incorporate new vehicle type and code revisions but still maintain the integrity of the code scheme, NAFA will establish a mechanism for fleet managers to submit requests for new classifications and changes. The requests will be reviewed by a team and accommodated within the code structure.

For a download of the Basic and Master NAFA class codes:

NAFA CLass Code Master-Basic.xlsx

NAFA Class Code Master-Full.xlsx