A system for communicating between a plurality of electronic control units (ECU's) located on-board a turf maintenance system is provided. The controllers are connected by a common bus network. When the ECU's boot up a primary controller sends a message out on the bus requesting a response if any secondary controllers are connected to the bus. The secondary controllers are programmed to listen for the request, to generate a message to identify itself, and to transmit the requested message to identify itself over the bus. The primary controller waits for a predetermined time to receive and identify the secondary controller message. The primary controller then polls for additional secondary controllers in a similar manner. Accordingly, the primary controller sequentially determines whether additional controllers are connected to the bus. Once the initial list of ECU's is built, the primary controller moves into a main program loop, including routines to exchange information with each of the secondary controllers which identified themselves during the polling process.