ISOBUS DBC File - Decode Tractor Data [ISO 11783-7 Database]

ISOBUS DBC File - Decode Tractor Data [ISO 11783-7 Database]

The ISOBUS DBC file contains decoding rules for converting raw CAN bus data to 'physical values' (m/s, %, ...). This lets you easily decode data from agriculture vehicles like tractors.

DBC is a CAN database format used in most automotive tools - incl. our CAN software/APIs.

The download includes the ISOBUS DBC and Excel file based on the public ISO 11783-7 PGN/SPN data. The cost is a one-time fee.

See also our J1939 DBC and NMEA 2000 DBC, both of which can be relevant in agriculture vehicles.

Tip: Contact us for a free 'sample conversion' of a CLX000/CANedge log file.

Buy now - or learn more below!

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Decode Data From Heavy Duty Truck DECODE ISOBUS

Convert ISOBUS data in wide range of software/API tools

The Database Includes PGN and SPN Information ~100 PGNs

The ISOBUS DBC contains ~100 PGNs and 650+ SPNs

You can review the DBC PGN list via our converter REVIEW FIRST

Use our CAN ID converter to check if your PGNs are covered

The DBC is crowd-tested for precise decoding rules CROWD INPUT

Benefit from free corrections based on large user base

You save time vs. creating your own database SAVE HOURS

Avoid manually constructing the DBC file from scratch

Combine DBC files COMBINE

Easily combine with our J1939 & NMEA 2000 DBC files

What is a DBC file?

A DBC file is a standardized file format for storing the "rules" on how to interpret raw CAN bus data. It contains details on what 'signals' (e.g. Distance, Vehicle Speed, …) are contained within which 'messages' (i.e. CAN IDs).

In the J1939 and ISOBUS standards, messages are referred to as Parameter Group Numbers (PGN) and signals as Suspect Parameter Numbers (SPN).

Further, a DBC file includes names, descriptions, positions and lengths of the signals - as well as how to offset & scale them.

Software supports DBC files with PGN and SPN decoding rules for tractors harvesters

When is the database useful?

The ISOBUS protocol is used across most agricultural machinery, including tractors, harvesters, sprayers etc. Because the protocol is standardized, you can use the ISOBUS DBC file to decode data across the majority of farm vehicle brands/models.

See also our J1939/ISOBUS telematics intro.

In our experience, the DBC typically lets you decode 60-80% of the ISOBUS signals (SPN) from a ISOBUS-based farming vehicle, with the rest being proprietary OEM-specific data. In most cases, this lets you extract multiple useful signals, e.g. information related to speed, distance, heading, hitch positions etc. With that said it differs vehicle-by-vehicle, so we always recommend to perform tests for the specific farm vehicles you need to record ISOBUS data from.

If you're using our CAN loggers, we can offer to decode a sample log file with the DBC before you decide whether to purchase the ISOBUS DBC file (this sample conversion is 100% free). This way you can see exactly what data parameters you can extract from a specific vehicle (or multiple vehicles) before deciding. Simply contact us with your data samples.

If you do not have one of our CAN bus data loggers, you can perform an evaluation by parsing the unique CAN IDs from your application (e.g. logged with another logger) into our CAN ID to PGN converter to check which of your CAN IDs are matched by the DBC file.

What PGNs are in the DBC?

If you have a list of CAN IDs from a ISOBUS-based vehicle, you can paste them in our 'CAN ID to PGN converter':

  • Convert raw CAN IDs to PGNs
  • Convert PGNs to raw CAN IDs
  • Check if the PGNs are in the DBC

See also our FAQ for details on PGN vs. SPN coverage.

Try sample data

Below you'll find ISOBUS data logs from tractors recorded with the CANedge2. The sample also contains a demo ISOBUS DBC with RearHitchPosition.

You can load the raw data & DBC in the free asammdf GUI, decode it to human-readable form and plot it.

data & DBC sample Download asammdf
asammdf software GUI and API for ISOBUS DBC Conversion

Check out the tech specs and FAQ above - or buy now!

Do you have any questions?

Contact us

Standard(s) ISOBUS (ISO 11783-7)
#PGNs ~100
#SPNS 650+
Descriptions Partial SPN descriptions included in DBC (full included in the Excel file)
Attributes SPN ID, VFrameFormat
Value tables Not included (can be looked up via the Excel file)
Network nodes Not included

The ISOBUS standard is used across most farming vehicles regardless of manufacturer and brand. This means that a set of standard data parameters will typically be available on any given tractor, harvester etc - and can be converted using the DBC file. With that said, each brand typically also includes a set of proprietary PGNs (which are not covered by the DBC).

If you need to log data from an agriculture vehicle, then this DBC file is relevant for you. Most CAN bus software/API tools support decoding of raw CAN bus data from farming vehicles if you provide a ISOBUS DBC file for the tool.

Of course, you can create your own DBC file, though based on our experience this will be many times more expensive in terms of staff hours vs. purchasing this DBC file as your basis. Instead, we recommend that you spend the time to expand and edit this DBC file to implement e.g. specific proprietary PGNs and SPNs relevant to your application.

Several tractors use a mix of J1939, ISOBUS and NMEA 2000 data. Typically, the J1939 protocol is used for e.g. engine speed, temperatures etc, while ISOBUS is used for e.g. ground based vehicle speed and distance info. The NMEA 2000 protocol may be used for e.g. GPS position data.

In other words, you may need to get both the ISOBUS DBC, J1939 DBC and NMEA 2000 DBC to get the maximal amount of data from agricultural machinery across different brands/models. Even with all DBC files, however, you should still expect some PGNs to be OEM specific (proprietary) and not decodable.

We've taken the full ISOBUS PGN list and corresponding SPN list from the ISOBUS Excel file and added them to the DBC file format. This involves extensive data cleaning and ensuring that the restructuring of the details is done correctly as per the proprietary DBC specification. The resulting DBC file has then been tested versus previous versions and via various CAN bus software tools.

In the most recent version, the DBC file includes ~100 PGNs and 650+ SPNs. You can see a full list of the included/excluded PGNs in our "CAN ID to PGN" tool:

CAN ID to PGN Converter

The free, open source asammdf GUI/API supports the loading of ISOBUS DBC files natively. This means that it's easy to decode raw ISOBUS data from the CANedge series - as well as e.g. exporting/plotting the decoded data.

Examples also include our free CANvas & Wireshark plugin software (excl. Multipacket messages) and the software tools of e.g. Kvaser, Vector, PEAK.

We've excluded various PGNs and SPNs, primarily those that require detailed lookups in sub standards other than ISO 11783-7.

Most likely not. As mentioned above, some PGNs are excluded for now. But more importantly, most manufacturers utilize proprietary PGNs for some of their data. In practice this means that you'll typically be able to convert a large set of standard parameters across most heavy duty vehicles - but not necessarily all the data. The coverage is application specific. However, if you are able to record/identify the raw CAN IDs from your application, you can use our above converter to identify which PGNs are supported in the latest DBC.

Not necessarily. A PGN may include e.g. 4 SPNs in the ISOBUS standard - and hence in our DBC file - yet, in your specific application it could be that e.g. only 1 of these SPNs is used.

When converting the data from such a case using the DBC file, some tools may still return converted data for all 4 SPNs. However, upon inspection you'll find that the data of invalid SPNs is typically outside the valid min/max range and constant.

Yes, but be aware that the format is proprietary with no open spec. Further, even small errors in spaces etc. will lead to the file not rendering properly. Various DBC editor tools allow editing, e.g. our online DBC editor or Vector's CANDB++ tool. Be aware, however, that simply saving the DBC file via one of these tools may change the format and structure.

We do not recommend editing the DBC file unless you're an advanced user. While we can offer some basic support on your DBC file, we can't help with detailed editing of the file.