Farm Collector

Reader Holland SP166 Baler Stories


Remembering run-ins with Model 33 baler

Jerry Mattson’s article in the January 2018 issue of Farm Collector brought back memories of a former farm kid. My dad had a Model 66 baler, but it was a power take-off model.

I do not remember any of the quality problems that the article mentions. I think that the 66 was simply too small for what we were trying to do with it. I remember it took a lot of shear pins. I think if ours had an engine, then we could have slipped the clutch on the tractor by not shearing so many pins.

The 66 had a spring-loaded door on the right side of the bale chamber. I know that because once that door slammed shut on my am as I was pulling a slug out. Another time I had pulled a good amount out of the chamber, and for some reason the plunger came forward just as I had pulled my arm out of the chamber with a handful of hay. I always wondered if that happened to anyone else.

The article is right that they were designed to pull a trailer. And pull a trailer we did, which is tough on rough and uneven ground. Bales could flip off the bale chute and land in front of the trailer. Once when that happened, I jumped off the trailer to grab the bale. A classmate of mine had the same idea. But he went after it with a bale hook that ended up in my hand. The hand that writes this bears the scar.

Another time, when we were baling straw, I had a very bad headache that put me in the hospital for a couple of days. Funny what a kid will do to get out of stacking bales.

I really liked the articles and letters on the stone boats. Clyde Eide even wrote a letter to me, answering a letter I’d sent to him. Barry Borg, Valley City, North Dakota

Restored baler brings $25,500

Since I live within a 45-minute drive of New Holland, Pennsylvania, I read with interest Jerry Mattson’s article (Farm Collector, January 2018) on the New Holland SP166 baler. He mentioned that two similar balers (unrestored but running) sold for $11,000 and $11,500.

It may be of interest to readers that a restored and running SP166 was sold Sept. 16, 2017, at the Bud Reifsneider estate auction at Royersford, Pennsylvania, for $25,500. Mecum Auction Co. conducted the auction.

Keep up the good work on the magazine. Richard E. Frantz, Richland, Pennsylvania

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; fax: (785) 274-4385; email:

  • Published on Mar 6, 2018
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