Top Crop Manager

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Catch this BUS

Coming soon to equipment near you is ISOBUS, a system that allows interconnectivity between the electronic components of tractors, implements and other equipment of different makes.


November 14, 2007
By Top Crop Manager

Coming soon to equipment near you is ISOBUS, a system that allows interconnectivity between the electronic components of tractors, implements and other equipment of different makes. Initiated in Europe and now adopted by most manufacturers there, it is being included now in designs from major manufacturers like John Deere, AGCO, Case and an array of smaller companies. Midwest Technologies unveiled its ISOBUS compatible models at the recent farm show in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Not all companies are there yet, but they soon will be,” says Andy Hill, an agricultural electronics expert with Independent Support Services, based in Auburn, Indiana. “North American firms are catching up quickly.” He notes there are specialist organizations in Europe and North America: The ISOBUS implementation Task Force which is charged with introducing the systems. “We have seen the benefits of standardization in things like PTO shaft speeds, hydraulic couplers and drawbar hitches, now it's time for electronics to move beyond systems that favour proprietary concepts that work for single manufacturer products.” He also notes that farmers can expect to see adapters to allow compatibility between existing non-ISOBUS equipment and ISOBUS components. “Look out for a 'plug-fest' near you,” he says.

For those who might delay a decision to purchase equipment until it is fully ISOBUS compliant, Hill advises users to consider the purchase based on whether it is a paying proposition for the duration until the next purchase or update is anticipated or other equipment will be retired. “Ask whether all connected brands will be able to read and display information from one piece of existing proprietary equipment to another,” he adds.