New Holland SP166 Baler

A complete restoration required to bring Michigan man’s “under-the-barn” find New Holland baler back to life.

| January 2018

Most people who restore antique farm equipment fantasize about making the perfect barn find. Few, however, would accept the challenges presented to Jim Arends, Conklin, Michigan, by his “under-the-barn” find.

This story begins in January 2017 when an employee of Burnips Equipment, Dorr, Michigan, saw a “having a bad day” photo posted online. A piece of farm equipment was just visible under a collapsed barn. He positively identified the piece as a vintage self-propelled New Holland baler.

He contacted Jim, a tractor and farm equipment restorer working part time at another Burnips location, to see if he would be interested in this piece of history. The answer was, “Yes.”

A friend of the Arends family in Wisconsin did some detective work, calling farm equipment businesses located near the collapsed barn, and discovered who owned the baler.

Contact was made and a purchase price agreed on. In March, Jim and friends Lyal and Mary Stuart headed to Wittenberg, Wisconsin, with a truck and trailer. Once there, they were joined by fellow tractor collector Jeff Schmidt.

Jim paid for the baler and the crew began to free it from the woodpile that once was a barn. Using a backhoe, tractor and a chainsaw, the team spent more than four hours freeing the baler.

1/2/2018 2:28:29 PM

interestingly my father bought a New Holland "66" tow behind baler; with motor in (as best I can remember) 1952. - that baler must have baled a million bales . yes it required some upkeep ; the Kotter's wore and needed upkeep -- but if every piece of equipment I owned over the past seventy years held up to do as much as that machine did I would not have half the gray hair I do today.