ISOBUS – ISO 11783

The ISOBUS protocol offers manu­facturer-independent, uniform sys­tem com­mu­ni­cation for onboard electronic systems. ISOBUS is standar­dized accor­ding to ISO 11783 and describes a com­mu­ni­cation system for agri­cultural machines based on CAN 2.0 B protocols.

The ISOBUS is based on the SAE J1939 specification, which was developed for use in commercial vehicles.


The standard describes a serial data net­work for control and communication in commercial vehicles. It standardizes methods and formats that represent the data transfer between sensors, actuators, control elements, information storage and display units. The data is sent over the physical layer at 250 Kbit/s.

The ISO 11783 standard contains following parts:

  • part 1: general standard for mobile data communication
  • part 2: physical layer
  • part 3: data link layer
  • part 4: network layer
  • part 5: network management
  • part 6: virtual connection
  • part 7: application layer
  • part 8: power drive message
  • part 9: tractor ECU
  • part 10: task controller and management information system data exchange
  • part 11: mobile data element index
  • part 12: diagnostic
  • part 13: file Server


ISOBUS automates the machine and device setting to different operations and creates with the combination of tractor, accessory equipment and terminal a system with “self-driving quality”. Fur­ther­more the extension with “smarter” func­tio­nal­ities and GPS data integration enabling precision farming.

ISO 11783-12: Diagnostic System
In the event of a breakdown, all connec­ted ISOBUS devices from different manufacturers can be tested and dia­gnosed with a diagnostic device. So a fast localization of the error source is en­sured without the need of diagnosing the electronics of all involved manu­facturers.