The ultimate guide to Geotab harnesses
Table of contents
Download the free Geotab Telematics Harness Cheat Sheet - See the list of most popular Geotab Harnesses and learn the Do's and Don'ts of installation.
There are many different types of vehicle makes, models, and sizes, made in different places around the world. The OBD II (On-board diagnostics) port may also vary in size and position from vehicle to vehicle. When using this port to install a telematics device, an adapter harness is required to ensure a proper connection. Geotab has developed a range of telematics harnesses which can accommodate installations with different vehicle types and connectors.
Download the Geotab Telematics Harness Cheat Sheet — See the main types of harnesses and read the do’s and don’ts for installation.
When is a telematics harness required?
The great thing about Geotab GO devices is that they plug directly into the vehicle’s OBD II port. However, a harness is sometimes required to make a connection possible. Reasons a vehicle may need a harness include:
- To install the telematics device out of the way and out of sight
- To keep the OBD port free
- To connect to a 6-pin or 9-pin port
- To connect the Geotab telematics device but still keep the OBD port available for use, such as for a scan tool or IOX Add-On
Types of harnesses
Geotab offers harnesses in different shapes and sizes to match as closely as possible the various Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) OBD connectors that can be found in vehicles.
In general, you may find these main types of diagnostic interfaces in your fleet vehicles: OBD 16-Pin, 6-Pin, and 9-Pin.
Visit the Installation Documentation page on our website to access our Geotab Harness Guide, which identifies all telematics harnesses currently available along with special order models. Depending on the harness, it may also lists the description, harness length, purpose, Geotab GO devices supported, and other details.
Geotab classifies harnesses into five categories:
- Deutsch Connector for Heavy-Duty installations
- European Heavy Goods for EU markets
- Custom Harnesses for multiple connection points or wires, weather resistant types, and unique global vehicle models
- Special Order Harnesses
Geotab has developed custom harnesses in the past when there was a large enough demand. If you require a harness for a specific application, please email the Geotab Sales Team: email@example.com
Geotab’s Universal T-harness Kits
To simplify purchasing and installation for customers, Geotab offers two Universal T-harness Kits, one for vehicles with an OBD II port and one for Heavy-Duty vehicle applications. The kits include different mounting adapters, eliminating the need to know the types of vehicles in a fleet prior to installation.
Universal Heavy-Duty T-harness Kit
The Universal Heavy-Duty T-harness Kit (HRN-GS09K2) includes a 9-pin T-harness and a set of four mounting adapters (with Adapter 1 pre-installed) for use in most international heavy-duty vehicles. The HRN-GS09K2 will replace the HRN-DR09T2, HRN-DS09T2, and HRN-DN09T3 harnesses which will be discontinued once stock runs out.
- Geotab’s 16-Pin T-harness fleet management device
- How to install Geotab’s Universal 9-Pin Heavy-Duty T-harness
Universal OBD II T-harness kit
The Universal OBD II T-harness Kit (HRN-GS16K22) consists of a T-harness and 12 different mounting adapters for use in most Light-Duty and Medium-Duty vehicles, and is compatible with most models globally. The Universal Kit replaces five Geotab harnesses: HRN-BE16T2, HRN-BF16T2, HRN-BG16T2, HRN-BS16T2, and HRN-BT16T2. Using a single type of harness for all of these applications is extremely helpful for fleets.
Watch the YouTube install video for the Universal OBD II T-Harness Kit.
Most popular Geotab harnesses
The following table lists our most popular harnesses. A more in-depth and larger list can be found on our harness identification page.
Note: In the Geotab Harness Naming Convention, all harnesses names start with the prefix “HRN” followed by 6-characters. All characters are alphanumeric and no I’s or O’s are used to avoid confusion.
- D represents a Deutsch connector
- S represents a Standard OBD, Deutsch, or FMS connector
- 09 represents 9 pins / wires
- T represents a T-harness
- 2 represents a length in the range of 12-24 inches or 30-60 cm
|HRN-BD16S5||T-harness||Harness for ALDL installations for gas and/or OBD vehicles (i.e. GM, Ford, etc.) and Freightliners with gateway. This harness is one of several Geotab continuously connected aftermarket parts solutions that is compliant for use in the California market, having been granted an Executive Order by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For more information, visit our solutions page.|
|HRN-DC09T2||T-harness||Designed specifically for Heavy-Duty vehicles with a CAT motor with different pinouts, connector, and engine data received.|
|HRN-DR09T2||T-harness||For Heavy-Duty vehicles that have a 9-pin Deutsch connector. This harness connector is threaded for the specific type of mounting bracket that requires the connector to screwed into the mounting bracket. Also comes with a locking nut.|
|HRN-DS06T2||T-harness||For Heavy-Duty vehicles that have a 6-pin Deutsch connector. Unlike the HRN-DR08T2, this harness connector has a flanged connector which allows it to be securely fitted with 4 screws, instead of being screwed in.|
|HRN-DS09T2||T-harness||For Heavy-Duty vehicles with 9-pin Deutsch connector. Identical to the HRN-DR09T2 except for the connector type. This harness has a connector with a flange that allows it to be securely mounted with 4 screws.|
|HRN-GS16K22 / HRN-GS16K22-A||Universal OBD II T-harness Kit||The HRN-GS16K22 harness is intended for most light-duty, medium-duty and some heavy-duty vehicles (outside North America). For North American heavy-duty trucks, always use a vehicle-specific harness when offered by Geotab or the vehicle manufacturer. This harness is one of several Geotab continuously connected aftermarket parts solutions that is compliant for use in the California market, having been granted an Executive Order by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For more information, visit our solutions page.|
|HRN-GS09K2 / HRN-GS09K2-A||Universal Heavy-Duty T-Harness Kit||The HRN-GS09K2 is an installation kit that includes a 9-pin T-harness and a set of four mounting adapters (with Adapter 1 pre-installed) for use in most international heavy-duty vehicles. Eliminates the need to know vehicle information in advance. This harness is one of several Geotab continuously connected aftermarket parts solutions that is compliant for use in the California market, having been granted an Executive Order by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For more information, visit our solutions page.|
|HRN-GR09K1 / HRN-GR09K1-A||Universal rugged heavy-duty T-harness kit||The HRN-GR09K1 is a ruggedized Deutsch T-harness kit with four mounting brackets for connecting a Geotab® GO RUGGED device to most heavy-duty vehicles internationally. The HRN-GR09K1 contains four mounting adapters, which are engraved with numbers for easy reference. This harness is built to IP67 standards for protection against dust and water.|
How to maintain data integrity when using a telematics harness
A proper vehicle connection is critical to ensuring quality data. Here are five quick do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when using your harness.
✔ Select the right harness for the vehicle.
✔ Follow the recommended installation procedure.
✔ Where indicated in the Harness Guide, you can connect a straight harness to a T-harness or another straight harness if a longer length is required.
✖ Do not connect two T-harnesses together, regardless of the length.
✖ Do not exceed the total harness length of 2 meters (6.5 feet). Connecting two harnesses that exceed 2 meters can compromise the integrity of the data and potentially cause issues with the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU).
Geotab continues to look for ways to make the harness selection and installation process easier for our customers. Since most of our customers prefer to use T-harnesses, our automotive team continuously works to match the connector type to that of the OEM connector. The development of the Universal T-harness Kits is an example of how we try to build in innovation in every part of our Geotab solution.
If you liked this post, let us know!
Sujay Ruthraraj is an Automotive Technologist for Geotab.
Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.
Get industry tips and insights
Sign up for monthly news and tips from our award-winning fleet management blog. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Other posts you might like
Geotab’s 16-pin t-harness fleet management device
November 30, 2023
California government fleets: Statewide contract is your telematics golden ticket
November 30, 2023
GPS tracker installation guide
November 30, 2023