Harvey Brodsky, known around the world as the “voice of retreading” and who was the former managing director of the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau and the Retread Tire Association, died Sept. 17 of complications from lung cancer at his home in Pacific Grove, Calif. He was 81.
Harvey Brodsky, the "voice of retreading"
In the 1970s, Brodsky became involved in management at Lodi Super Mold Co. and Big O Tires, which would lead to a job at the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau in 1952.
For the next 28 years, Brodsky worked to educate the public and the trucking industry about retreaded tires, constantly responding to news reports that blamed retreads for rubber tread that is left on roadways after tire failures.
“Retreads are the Rodney Dangerfields of the tire industry,” Brodsky wrote in one such letter to the editor of Transport Topics in 2011. “They get no respect. And that is a battle we fight every day.”
Al Cohn of Pressure Systems International Inc. in San Antonio remembers Brodsky as “an unbelievable advocate for the industry” and who was known as much in China and India as he was in the United States and Canada for his efforts to promote acceptance of retreading.
Robert Braswell, executive director of the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations, credited Brodsky with helping to develop a better understanding in the trucking industry of the importance of maintaining proper air pressure to prevent tire failures.
In 1991, Brodsky received the American Retreaders Association industry leadership award and, in 2000, he was inducted into the International Tire & Rubber Association Hall of Fame.
Jeffrey Parks, a longtime associate of Brodsky’s who succeeded him as director of the Retread Tire Association in 2016, said Brodsky will not be forgotten.
“One of Harvey’s many sayings has become a guidepost for RTA: ‘Always be better than you need to be,’ he would say, and ‘There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing, and there’s never a right time to do the wrong thing.’ All words to live by, every day,” Parks said in a message posted online about his former boss.
Brodsky was born and raised in Philadelphia and served in U.S. Army during World War II.
He is survived by his wife, Rona.