2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #23[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
1957 Self-Propelled NH Baler
Bowersmith bought the baler in 1990 for $600 from a man who found it at a junk yard. Amazingly, it came complete with the owner's manual and parts book.
"The company built just 305 of these self-propelled units. I know of only three others that still exist."
The self-propelled baler was built using components from several different manufacturers. For example, the front end steering mechanism and wheels are off a Cockshutt tractor, and the rear axle, wheels and 4-speed transmission are off a Ford truck. The transmission has three working gears and one road speed of about 12 mph.
Two 15 hp Wisconsin engines operate the baler. One drives the baler, while the other handles the baling operation. One alternator and one battery provide electrical service for both engines. The single electrical system provides power to the starter on either engine. Otherwise the two engines operate separately with separate controls for each. The gas tank mounts under the driver's seat and provides fuel for both engines.
The machine is fitted with a conventional New Holland baler.
"It draws a lot of attention," says Bowersmith, who takes the baler to four different farm shows every year and sometimes demonstrates it in the field. "Most people have never seen anything like it.
"I don't know why the company quit making them. The driver has a great view and never has to look behind. However, there are some limitations. The rig was designed to pull a wagon, but it didn't work well on hilly ground because it didn't have enough traction. Also, it was somewhat expensive. It sold for about $3,000, whereas the company's 66 pull-type model sold for less than $1,900. Or maybe the cost of maintaining two engines scared some people off.
"One person told me that because the machines didn't sell, they ended up taking some of them back to the factory and converting them to pull-type models."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Bowersmith, 4002 Centennial Ave., Radcliff, Ky. 40160 (ph 270 351-5013).
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