Tractor CAN bus interface tools and application development for real-time data analysis

R. A. Rohrer, S. K. Pitla, J. D. Luck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Embedded electronic controllers connected via controller area network (CAN) are used extensively in modern off-road machinery to broadcast machine information for on-board processes and diagnostics. A variety of tools are commercially available to monitor and record CAN data for research and commercial uses. Some plug-and-play options are easy to set up but have limited customization. Others are more complex to configure but can be used to create fully customized and deployable real-time software applications. Several CAN data tools and software packages were evaluated to monitor and record machine and engine data. A proof-of-concept application was created with Matlab Vehicle Network Toolbox for real-time monitoring of diesel engine speed and load, and generation of a cumulative speed/load histogram based on SAE J1939 parameters. This study investigated four hardware and software CAN tool configurations that could be used for tractor CAN bus data acquisition. This study is not intended to be an exhaustive evaluation of all available CAN tools or their capabilities, rather it was intended to present information on several readily available hardware and software platforms and a method for creating a stand-alone custom application as a proof-of-concept for tractor CAN data analysis. The custom application developed will facilitate in-cab decision making for improved tractor management during field operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104847
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Agricultural machinery
  • CAN bus
  • Controller area network
  • Data acquisition
  • Diesel engine
  • SAE J1939

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


Dive into the research topics of 'Tractor CAN bus interface tools and application development for real-time data analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this