The performance of farm tractors as reported by CAN-BUS measures

Al-Aani, Firas Salim
Darr, Matthew
Darr, Matthew
Covington, Benjamin
Powell, Levi
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Tractors and agricultural machinery have been designed specifically for land preparation, tillage, and other agricultural operation’s tasks. Tractors are the primary source of power in farms and fields. Thus, to obtain the optimum output from them, proper management and utilization is needed. Agricultural machinery performance has been studied over the past three decades and optimum results have been obtained for different kinds of agricultural machinery. In general, the evaluation of agricultural machinery using traditional methods is problematic as they are time consuming and labor intensive. Moreover, by using the common evaluation methods it is typically difficult to obtain accurate and instant results. Accurate measurements of field performance parameters are required for monitoring machinery performance and management decisions. Recently, the improvement in the electronics technology has made field operational management easier to monitor. Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus technology is being used as a communication system in tractors and allows connections between Electrical Control Units (ECU). CAN Bus technology broadcast unique electronic messages which contain continuously updated information about the engine, power train, equipment, power take off, hydraulic system, and other parts of the machines. To evaluate the performance of agricultural machinery, there is no longer a need for myriad measurement instruments producing widely varying output to individually measuring fuel consumption for each speed, gear shift and the whole operation. As a result, this study was conducted to evaluate tractor performance by CAN Bus technology as a simple to use, easy to install, high speed data collection, and convenient to retrieve the stored data. These techniques allow for substantial saving of money and time, reducing our workload and eliminating training necessary for specialized measurement tools.


This paper is from 2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Paper No. 162461746, pages 1-18 (doi: 10.13031/aim.20162461746). St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE.