Trucking Loses Good Friend
By Jeffrey Parks
We have some very sad news to report to our trucker friends, owner operators, fleet managers and industry associates. On September 17th, Harvey Brodsky, former Managing Director of the Retread Tire Association passed away of complications from lung cancer.
For those of you who knew Harvey, or who read his articles, here in Ontario, Western and Eastern Trucking News and in various trucking and trade magazines, you know that he loved the trucking industry and its partners. He believed wholeheartedly that trucking is the lifeline that keeps our society intact and thriving, from carrying goods and materials to the farthest reaches, to delivering on its promise of keeping countries moving through adverse times and conditions.
Harvey loved talking to truckers, and he did so regularly on various trucking radio programs including the Midnight Trucking Radio Network, and the Landline Now radio show. You may have also met him at the Mid-America and Great America Trucking Shows in past years, and he was always available for a conversation about trucking, tires, retreads, repairs, family and pets, all part of a trucker’s daily life.
Harvey ran a life-long campaign in praise of the retread tire industry, first during his many years with the Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau, and then from 2011 to the present with RTA. You may think that there is no way a person could put his passion and expertise behind such a mundane subject on a daily basis, but in Harvey’s case you would be wrong.
The reason that Harvey made such an impact was that when he talked tires, trucks, treads, industry standards and practices, etc., he was talking about people, not tires. He was detailing the facts and benefits, joys and daily experiences of those who are on the road and striving to take care of themselves, their families, making a living, creating jobs, developing new ideas, training young people to new careers, supporting women, youth and minorities, and giving a leg up on the task of creating a life worth living.
It is no hyperbole to say that he was an ambassador to these industries that sometimes had no voice on the large stage. Any trucker could call or email him at any time, and he responded with encouragement, information, honesty and an enthusiasm that was infectious. If you ever needed a few encouraging words in discouraging times, Harvey was the man to supply that support.
He walked it, talked it and lived it, and luckily for us at RTA he wrote it all down, chronicling his interactions and thoughts on how a person could make a good life in the trucking and transport industry with the support of our retread industry.
He loved animals as much as he loved living. In our newsletters and online, he did segments on truckers’ pets. He knew that many truckers have their four legged co-drivers with them daily and that they loved to talk about them.
He got many calls and emails from truckers who just heard him on the air, and he said, “I love when they call, because we not only can provide answers to their questions, but also get to know their problems and successes, and get to share that feedback with the retreaders who make their tires.”
Harvey was a champion of life itself, and of the world of business. He was a scholar on all topics regarding the tire, retread and rubber industries. He was a man who did business with good spirit, on a handshake, without remorse or greed. He was always a reliable ally, with a commitment to the causes that would help us all thrive.
He looked for the best in people and himself. His energy, enthusiasm and integrity were unquestionable, and his accumulated knowledge of the industry was gleaned from the thousands of friends and associates he made during his life and career.
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.
To say that Harvey will be missed is an understatement, and we will miss him, but we’ll never forget him. He once said, “If I can come back in another life, I would love to come back as a trucker. These are some of the finest people I have ever met in my life.” Who knows, you may see him again on the road someday.☚