WOOODSTOCK, Ont. — A rare New Holland 1283 self-propelled baler was on hand at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock last week.The balers were built in the 1960s and 1970s.

The one at the farm show sported a Ford 240 cubic inch, six cylinder, gasoline engine, but a 300 was also available. Many had cab coolers and some true air conditioning.


The machines had a 24 m.p.h. top speed, hydrostatic drive and cab controlled hydraulic bale density control.

They also put the operator in the middle of the dust and noise created by baling.

The machines were known for their short turning radius because of an open steering axle and turning brakes. They were popular in the mountains, northwestern United States and California, where difficult fields could be tackled by a self propelled machine.

The earlier 1282 model had no cab and forced operators to endure plenty of hay dust and churned-up soil, especially in dry conditions.

Asking and auction prices for the 1283 range from $3,500 to as much as $8,000, depending on condition.

Some units are still in use, according to farm machinery forums, but those who have run the 1283 often suggest that tractor and baler in-line combinations are much more pleasant from an operator’s perspective.