Our History

Rocky Mount Radiator Works was founded in 1927 by Godfrey (Gid) Gideons, in downtown Rocky Mount, NC. It was located close to the banks, car dealers, churches, groceries and auto parts stores. It was in the center of the city’s business district, and a great opportunity for retail trade.

The business existed primarily for automotive radiator repairs, and the need continued to grow with the automobile market growth of the time. Although the Great Depression put a damper on business, Gid continued to work and grow the business, embracing a growing agricultural need since farming was a stable part of the community as well. Gideons operated RMR until his untimely passing in 1963.

That’s when son-in-law Charles (Linwood) Braswell, who was employed in farm equipment sales at the time, decided to investigate this business as a means to support his growing family.

Growing Our Business

Linwood soon discovered that his knack for “fixing things”, coupled with his sales savvy, would mean opportunities in service and also parts sales for this industry.Linwood Braswell took over every day management of RMR in 1964, and soon added new equipment, more employees and with wife June by his side, they grew the business, and it quickly outgrew the building they were in.

In 1968, Linwood and June built a brick, 3 bay building, complete with a well-planned radiator shop, across the street, where they would operate, grow and thrive until they also outgrew this building. By this time RMR had expanded into wholesale distribution, air conditioning sales and service, and heavy duty radiator services.

Our history
Our History

Value of Giving Back

The growing business, along with the westward growth of the city, meant that RMR would need to move out of the inner city, closer to the suburbs for retail trade, and closer to the car dealers and garages for wholesale trade. This idea led Linwood to design and build a state of the art, 18,000 sq. ft. shop and warehouse.

RMR moved in May, 1993, and with that move brought a name change, to better reflect what the company’s core service had become. Rocky Mount Radiator and Air Conditioning, Inc. was born.Linwood Braswell’s son, Chuck, who had been a part-time employee most of his life, had begun with the company right after college at the age of 21.Chuck was immediately immersed into the wholesale and retail parts business, developed his customer skills, received the best industry training available, and helped to grow the wholesale parts business in the area and beyond.

Industry Leader

He also became active in the community and learned the value of giving back to the area that derives business revenue. Parts operations led Chuck to sales opportunities, and eventually into the service department as Parts and Service Director for this growing business. The move doubled business overnight, which meant doubled work, doubled team members, and at time doubled headaches!

But the Braswell’s continued to persevere, adding more equipment, more employees, and more inventory whenever possible, to help support the industry and the company’s goals.Linwood continued to manage the “new” facility until his sudden death in June, 2001. That’s when Chuck Braswell assumed the responsibility of Operations Manager. Chuck and wife Tammy continued to grow the team, utilizing team leaders to oversee different departments.

Our History

Continuing to Evolve

Each area of the business continued to evolve, as the changing metals market and repair techniques also evolved. RMR made a commitment to training as well, seeking every opportunity to learn through trade associations, trade shows, and involvement on the local, State and National level.

Continuing education became a mandate for employment at RMR, and the employees at RMR also took pride in hosting other radiator repair techs, from all over the country, for in-house training so that they might prosper in their own areas. RMR had quietly, without fanfare, become known as an industry leader and true icon in the Radiator Service industry.Bryan Braswell, Chuck’s son, joined the team in 2012, and June Braswell retired in 2013.

Expanding the Business

Bryan made an immediate impact on the company, when he expanded the business into Heavy Duty Radiator Sales, and also expanded the sales, service and delivery area to include State-wide and beyond service and sales. To support our newly discovered customer base, we began to import and private label HD radiators and parts from around the globe in container quantities.

By this time, RMR had become one of only a handful of shops in the U.S. capable of handling and servicing the largest radiators, cooling the largest equipment and generators known to exist. Bryan later expanded the HD market to include off-site repairs and rebuilds on generator radiators, whose primary purpose is to provide backup power generation for large buildings, manufacturers, etc. In 2019, construction was completed on a 5000 sq. ft. addition to the facility.


Construction Completed

This building would serve a multi-purpose use and would be used primarily for a welding shop, fabrication and rebuild shop for aluminum radiator and heat exchanger manufacturing. Two large jib cranes were added to safely handle the largest of units and the employees built one of the largest testing tanks in the Southeast to test the largest units we service.

By 2022, our delivery fleet had also grown to include 7 drivers, with routes that serve North, South, East, and West daily. And in the 10 bay service shop, in keeping with the gradual move towards heavy duty service, our commitment to bus, transit, and OTR truck air conditioning is obvious as the 4 large truck bays always seem full with large vehicles.For nearly 100 years, Rocky Mount Radiator and A/C, Inc. has been a strong advocate for value, integrity and excellence in the workplace.

Come See For Yourself

With over 30 employees, we have the personnel, the knowledge, the equipment and the facility to service many industries, including automotive, agricultural, industrial or power generation cooling needs. Our dedication to our trade has stood the test of time, and our community support never wavers. Our family owned and operated business believes that our employees are our extended families as well.

We invite you to come see for yourself what Rocky Mount Radiator and A/C has to offer. We offer personal and classroom tours, and as always, we continue to lead by example of what a customer focused and community minded industry leader should be.