ISOBUS - A Standard to Ensure Compatibility Between Tractors and Implements

ISOBUS, short for ISO 11783, is an open standard of international communication used by the agricultural and forestry industry. Certified by the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), it is officially defined as a serial control and communications information network for tractors and machinery in agriculture and forestry.

It standardizes the communication between different implements, allowing the exchange of information among different  models of tractors, implements, and controllers from different brands.

What are The Benefits of ISOBUS?

1. Ensuring the compatibility between tractors and implements regardless of brand and model

With the rapid development of precision agriculture, precise control of each implement has become essential in farming operations. Currently, all precision farming and agriculture machinery manufacturers are moving toward a common goal of compatibility, and ISOBUS is used to achieve this goal by making tractors and implements fully compatible, regardless of brand and model.

Before the ISOBUS standard was proposed, each manufacturer used its own communication language for agricultural machinery. Farmers could only use specific displays and proprietary control systems to operate implements. If they got a new tractor or implement, the display or controller may not be available due to incompatibility, which increases the cost of agricultural operations.

2. Improving operational accuracy for precision agriculture

By using the ISOBUS standard, the information transmission between the system and the software is smoother. The ISOBUS ensures fast and noiseless communication and improves the accuracy of work.

At the same time, operators can see all information about their tractor and implements on a single display. The high level of information integration helps farmers to make better decisions for precision agriculture, thus increasing productivity.

3. Simplifying installation and operation

Before ISOBUS was created, a wiring structure for each sensor and a display for each implement are required in machinery. Using the same tractor in different operating situations results in a cab full of interfaces, which may hinder operation and complicate installation.

The use of ISOBUS eliminates redundant displays and unnecessary connection cables, leaving only one display to connect the tractor and its implements. Therefore, the installation and operation of farm machinery are simpler and more efficient.

How Does ISOBUS Work?

1. UT/VT, Virtual Terminal.

It provides an interactive interface between the operator and the implement, and the display shows the current working status of the implement.

2. TC-BAS, Task Controller Basic (totals)

It allows the import of planned tasks into the agricultural management system and the export of operation records to assist in planning agricultural operations. It can also aggregate the total values in working conditions (e.g., total volume spent on sprayer operations and total mass of fertilizer applied by a spreader).

3. TC-SC, Task Controller Section Control

It provides and records information on the operation of the farm machinery. Section control is based on geographic location and desired level of overlap. The opening and closing of the seeding or fertilizer application ports can be controlled within the section on the implement.

4. TECU, Basic Tractor ECU

It monitors and outputs the working status of the tractor, providing and recording information on the tractor operation.

5. TC-GEO, Task Controller Geo-based (variables)

It can control the opening rate of each section based on geographic locations and variable rate operation record information. And a speed control model is established based on the speed of the vehicle, the height of the seeding opening or fertilization opening in the section from the ground, and the agronomic requirements.

ISOBUS Applied to FJDynamics Autosteer

FJD AT1 Autosteering Kit and FJD AT2 Auto Steer System are high-accuracy GPS auto-guidance and steering systems  for tractors. With GNSS & RTK technology, they can control the tractor's driving direction with a precision of 2.5cm. The tractor's movement is observed and controlled through the display control terminal.

Both of them adopt the ISOBUS communication protocol. Therefore, they can be used for any brand and model of tractors and farm implements and can greatly reduce operating costs while improve production efficiency.


1. "ISO 11783", Wiki.
2. "ISOBUS - AEF Online", AEF.
3. "What is and what are the benifits of ISOBUS", Hexagon AG.