Use case: plot soil compaction from CAN/ISO bus tractor data


Soil compaction is getting more and more a problem in our fields. Due to heavy machines, but also due to heavy rainfall this problem gets bigger.

To monitor soil compaction our idea would be to get data from the tractor and combine it with real-time GPS positions. Specifically, we are interested in the hitch resistance (CAN bus) parameter.

TrekkerHack 2018

Hello Derk,

The Hitch resistance is one of the parameters in the file which is available for this event. The signal-id is <419> , see also the “heat map” from Yannick.
Maybe it is also interesting to look at the Fuelconsumption and compare this with the results of the hitch resistance.


In your case there is a problem as you combine Case and Trimble for GPS: CNHi regards the Trimble as an aftermarket solution, they don’t want to facilitate that. Good news is: Beijer automotive and open source Isoblue can help solve this. They contain normal GPS (no RTK), and can integrate this signal with hitch resistance parameter. Sidenote: the Dutch Isoblue is still early stage. We were able to log data, but it will take some extra time to figure out what we logged, and how to get our hands on the hitch resistance data. An update will follow soon!


This is very interesting.
If i am well informed, there is a timestamp and a GPS coordinate and a hitch resisance with everydata-record in the file?
If we could get a file in CSV format withe the fields, x-coordinate, y-coordinate, and hitch-resistance, we sure would be able to create a map in a GIS.

Question is still, how universal is this to different brands/types of tractors, are the signal-id’s different for every vehikel?

Would it be a solution to make a brand/type specific “translator” from CAN to ISO-Bus standard? And have there the type of signal you need!
Many already made solutions from e.a. Trimble,Topcon etc… can handle ISObus signal to MAP and record.


The file in CSV format is available for the Farmhack, sure it is possible to make a universal interface for translating different brand/type’s to ISObus standaard or for example to RS232.


Good afternoon. With the mentioned file we made this plot:

We used Spotfire for this. Spotfire is a BI tool from Tibco.
With this tool you can make a connection with the database and present the latest rRinfo.
This report can also provided to other light users using a web link.



Interesting, thanks for sharing!

I assume you can also plot the parameters by assigning them e.g. a color. I know that @Pieter and @derk are interested in the hitch resistance. Have you by any chance made a plot of that as well?


@aultac have/are you doing anything with hitch resistance in combination with soil compaction (through one of your ISOBlues). Do you measure soil compaction at all?


Yes. That is possible, but I did not made it yet.
If desirable, I can organize a demo on our office in Amersfoort. Let’s please agree about the data and outcome you would like to see. It would be also good if others join.

@Anne, Can this fit in an existing timetable?



Hi @Peter-Jan, we are working on a timetable, there is positive interest in multiple follow up steps. Will communicate this via the forum later this week


Thanks for the offer! I’m sure many people are interested.

I do wonder though whether @derk, @Pieter and colleagues are able to travel to Amersfoort for a demo seeing that they have their farms to tend [1].

Would it be an option to do an online demo through a Skype call or some other mean so that even more people can participate?

[1] Maybe they can and I’m overreaching, I’m simply (mis)using them as a stepping stone for the online demo inquiry. :innocent:


a Online demo sounds good. Maybe even better. Let’s make a list with questions which you would like to address. If someone also can provide some data, I can arrange.

I can find the right person to give this demo.


Online Demo sounds great idea!


Poosje aan het spelen geweest met de gelogde data. Dit is een plotje van de Hitch-resistance.
Playing around with the logged data from the tractor. This is a plot of the hitch-resistance.

Groeten Pieter.


Farmworks could load the 253mb file Pieter?


No, selected a subset of around 150.000 records out of 3,5 million…maybe there is a day in the data-set where a actual soil-cultivating activity took place?


[I remember @limburgsebodem talking about such a subset, I’ll check] Update: this file has been made available via email to Derk&Pieter


Data hitchresistence made visual in qgis. 1.7 milion points selected (signalid=419).



You are absolutely right. We have a solution for that. Please look at