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January 24, 2022

Heavy-Duty Data Reign in the Wild West of Content

by Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products


The Auto Care Association’s Technology team is pleased to launch a new monthly Auto Care Tech blog series titled, “What the Tech?” This series will cover topics related to:   

  • Brand Table that is linked to these data standards.  

Let’s dive into our first topic.

My Journey with Heavy Duty Data

With HDAW 2022 upon us, I am reflecting on how I started in the aftermarket industry. Over 20 years ago, I started my journey with vehicle data, specifically heavy-duty data. This included engine kits for agriculture, construction equipment, semi-trucks, and much more. I was given a few paper catalogs and a virtual pile of data and told, “please make an electronic catalog with the content.” This is where I learned that the quality of data is important. This data included abbreviations, similar terminology that was inconsistent, multiple authors and editors of the data to name a few of the things that I learned related to this initial content.  


The Wild West of Content

While this sounds like a story of “well, back in my day,” or a tall tale of something like, “I had to go uphill both ways to school barefoot,” what I am trying to say is that it was the “Wild West” of content. Each manufacturer had its master vehicle tables and the majority of these tables were related to light-duty and automotive. However, this was also the same period that the industry was coming together to start to build standards for communicating—the beginnings of the adoption of a common language. The Auto Care Association (AAIA at the time) was working on the initial standards of ACES and PIES.


Data Expansion

In the past five years, the Auto Care Association has worked to add more content to the VCdb for On-highway vehicles and Off-Highway vehicles; to expand the PCdb and PAdb; and to review the PIES to incorporate what the heavy duty market needs to use the standards. 

27.0 + thousand

vehicles in Medium and Heavy Duty


34+ thousand

part terminologies


125 thousand

part attribute associations

The Medium and Heavy Duty VCdb includes over 27,000 vehicles spanning the year range 1956 to the present. The PCdb has over 34,000 part terminologies that can be linked to your products and the PAdb includes 129,000 attributes connected to the part terminologies. With the addition of Spanish, Canadian French, and Portuguese languages to these databases, you can extend your reach to international markets. 


Data Standards Bring Clarity and Efficiency

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you have the right parts, at the right place, at the right time so that the vehicle can get back into service. The standards and the data can help get you there faster. 


If data standards were available 20 years ago, these databases would have given me a foundation to start linking what I had with what is available in the databases; along with an opportunity to ask questions and gain clarity. For example, using this data, I would be able to investigate what the difference is between a vehicle that is in the VCdb and what I have in my internal system. 


ACPN Pipeline

2021 ACPN Pipeline

Reminder about ACPN Pipeline: we talk to people like you in the industry. The ACPN Pipeline is the Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN)’s direct connection to media content, including education and commentary from industry and community thought leaders, which supports ACPN's mission to educate, inspire and connect. Click here to see what we are talking about. 


Jonathan Larsen, Vice President, Standards & Digital Products

I help reduce cost out of the overall supply chain by improving the quality of standards data we provide to the industry and develop new processes that help get data to our members faster. More About Me


What The Tech Banner 2

The Auto Care Association’s Technology team is pleased to launch a new monthly Auto Care Tech blog series titled, “What the Tech? This series will cover topics related to Data Standards.

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Join the Conversation

If you are looking to see what is coming next or want to ask questions to your industry peers about the standards, join us at autocare.communifire.com

Latest Data Standards Documentation

Need to brush up on the latest ACES and PIES documentation? You can find them in the Auto Care Digital Hub

Share your story

We would enjoy hearing from you about how you are using the standards Heavy Duty content standards or how you plan to use the content this year. Email us


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