ISOBUS - ISO 11783

The ISOBUS protocol provides manufacturers a standard system for communication for onboard electronic systems. ISOBUS is standardized in ISO 11783 and describes systems for agricultural machines based on CAN 2.0B protocols. Thereby ISOBUS leans against the SAE J1939 specification which was developed for the application in commercial vehicles.


The standard describes a serial data network for control and communication in commercial vehicles. Thereby methods and formats are standardised, that display the data transfer between sensors, actuators, control elements, information storage and display unit. The data are transmitted with 250 kBit/sec. via the physical layer.

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 setup to different operations and creates with the combination of tractor, accessory equipment and terminal a system with “self-driving quality”. Furthermore the extension with “more intelligent” functionalities and GPS data integration enabling precision farming.

ISO 11783-12: Diagnostic Systems

All connected ISOBUS devices of different manufacturers can be tested and diagnosed with a diagnostic device in breakdown case. So a fast localization of the error source is ensured without the need of diagnosing the electronics of all involved manufacturers.