Driver pays?

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Driver pays?

Postby Sean Ryan » Sep 6, 2005 4:28 pm

In the northeast, a lot of us tend to carpool together for longer drives. I think it's the same in other parts of the country, especially with a gallon of gas costing more than a gallon of milk now.

The usual cost disbursement for this is for everyone to throw in an equal share of gas money - driver included. I always thought that was a little too much burden on the driver. He's already putting the wear and tear on his car, risking the chances of an accident, pretty much guaranteeing that his upholstery will get muddied up, and will be doing the driving for most or all of the trip.

It makes sense to just leave the driver out of the math. You have four people in the car, the other three split the gas costs. You have two guys in the car, the one being chauffeured pays.

This isn't coming from someone who does a lot of driving. I try to carpool whenever possible, simply to keep my car running as long as possible. Every ride to OTR I can snap is upwards of a thousand miles that won't be going on my car, and I'm more than happy to pay for that privilege and to fund people who really want their cars on site.
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In the southeast we're a little more hospitable....

Postby Scott Shaw » Sep 6, 2005 8:03 pm

I see it in a different view. I'm already headed to wherever it is I'm going, and I don't charge someone for gas to TAG along. It usually comes back around that I'll be a passenger in theirs someday.

There'a been a time or two that I've found a bill hidden in an obvious spot from someone who wished to pitch in, but I'll never ask for it, especially to the point of having them foot the entire bill.

My .02

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Postby rchrds » Sep 6, 2005 8:58 pm

hee hee- that always depends on how she looks- If she's hot, "heck, I'm going there anyway." If she's not, then its "Hey, I'll get the first fill up, you get the next one." If it's the usual suspects- well- they can pay all the gas and "You wanna wear that- you're riding in the bed, and yes, I know it's snowing."

J
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Postby Gary Cotney » Sep 6, 2005 11:10 pm

I have to agree with Scott on this one. (thanks for the rides in the past Scott, I owe you a few). It all balances out in the long run. When I first started I always caught a ride with someone else on the trip but in the last several years I've done a good bit of the driving myself and have gotten to the point that I'm more comfortable with my slow caving pace knowing that I have the keys.

You headed back to the Bankhead anytime soon Scott?
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Postby Squirrel Girl » Sep 7, 2005 5:35 am

rchrds wrote:hee hee- that always depends on how she looks- If she's hot, "heck, I'm going there anyway." If she's not, then its "Hey, I'll get the first fill up, you get the next one."
Well! I'll be sure and not go caving with you!

I've lived in places where it's a LOOOONGGGG way to go caving. Right now it's bad enough. Normally, I'd rather not drive, and sometimes I find someone else to ride along with. Every time, but one, I'd split the gas cost amongst the driver/riders. IMHO, you have a legitimate concern if one or two people always sponge off you and your vehicle. Seems like you could make an arrangement where folks could rotate through who does the driving and then just split the gas cost.

However, here's my example that blew me away. Back in the 80s when gos was a LOT less than >$3/gallon, I lived in Farmington, NM. I would drive to Albq solo. Then join up with others and ride with them to the Guads. One weekend I rode with Diana Northup and Kenneth Ingham (and maybe Ziggy). My share of the gas for that part was $5. The next trip down to the Guads was with a guy who hadn't done that much caving. He was from Los Alamos. When we got back, he charged me and his other passenger the GOVERNMENT reimbursement rate of something like $0.26/mile. My share came out to something like $35-50! Granted, today that doesn't seem quite so shocking, but sure was back nearly 20 years ago!
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Postby Sean Ryan » Sep 7, 2005 10:43 am

The logic of everyone eventually usign their cars an equal amount of time doesn't hold for me. I've gone to West Virginia about 20 times now, and I've almost always been in a different person's car every time. Plus, a lot of the New York cavers I know don't have cars. Nonetheless, if someone wants to chauffeur me to the caves and only wants half the gas, I'll be happy to stiff the guy on what I think I ought to owe him.
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Postby coferj » Sep 7, 2005 1:22 pm

If I'm going anyway, then usually don't ask for gas, but my crew usually anties up anyway, b/c it's a pay it forward type of thing. Now, if we're going and I have to haul an unusually large load, which is most times, then I may suggest, only b/c without a load, the truck only gets 15 mpg at best, add a trailer full, then you might get 10 at best.

I can see your side, too...if everyone is planning on a trip, and you have the only vehicle that can handle the people and gear, then maybe...but if you're going on a trip and you invite someone with you, then you're going anyways, and that makes donations voluntary... :wink:
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Postby Buford Pruitt » Sep 7, 2005 3:58 pm

I ask for a pro rata share of gas money. I like to drive, so I do most of the driving, but occasionally it's nice to have others share the chore. If the van breaks down, it's on my dime. I often sleep in the van, but ask my passengers to camp in their own tents. I provide a cooler, and ask others to share costs of ice.

He's not riding in my van, either, and I'm a guy. :twisted:
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Postby STLCaver » Sep 7, 2005 5:32 pm

I drive most of the time when we go caving (which is almost ever weekend) I have the bigger car so folks usually ride with me. The saying around here is "share the gas, share the laughs" I usually just ask folks to pitch in what they can, sometimes its not as much as other times. Example, The St.Louis crew will head to a survey weekend at Carroll Cave and four of us will fill up my Grand Cherokee, right now it cost about 40 bucks to fill it up, we can make it to the cave and back with just about a tank and a half, if the other three give me ten bucks each it comes out about right. Sometimes one of the crew may be a little low on the fundage so we float em. I think it all works out in the end, because I have a really crappy cooler and in the summer heat I come out of the cave after a 15 hour survey trip and all my beer is warm, I mooch! And I can mooch a lot of beer!
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Postby cob » Sep 7, 2005 8:38 pm

Pay the gas.... it's the least one can do.

a couple years ago was heading out to lech when Joel Laws van blew up... $2000 ... and that was only for the tranny... we were somewhere west of Amarillo when it went and we still had several hundred miles to go... what to do? I had planned my trip on a tight budget, so had Mark...

Joel (man that he is) took it all on himself. Rented the car, got us down there, and everything. My hat was off to him then (I don't think I ever said "thanx" but I'm sayin' it now)

Sometimes when you are driving you take on a larger share of the load than rightfully one oughta'... and when you aren't, you don't always get where you are going.

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Postby CaveStar » Oct 12, 2005 1:53 pm

Re: should the driver pay, well, up here we usually do it that way. Each person in the vehicle pays a proportional share. You learn as you go along which people are more comfortable keping track of gas expense and actually doing a correct mathematical division of the costs, and which people just want you to keep it casual and throw in a few bucks.

It's not always the owner who drives. Yours truly is pretty good driving late at night; several others are too; some others less so. We had one very good driver on a certain trip who really knows how to move a vehicle down the road, but about nine p.m. he started to need reminding not go out of his lane! So I asked for the rest stop and there was a peaceful coup and a new driver was installed. The third person and I were both feeling fresh enough to do it and we were quietly debating which one of us should drive, when our pal started walking back from the bathrooms and I just said to the third guy, okayfine, get in the driver's seat right now. So the former driver came back and found he had no choice!
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 12, 2005 8:46 pm

There has been many times during my bouts of unemployment where I could simply could NOT afford to pay for my share of the gas... but then again I've taken many a beginner to their first cave(s) and they've been more than happy to cover the expenses. However when I DO work I make sure I have at least a $20 to bolster my share. But most people I've been with have been very accomidating and understanding of my position... but I don't forget... Basically everyone chips in to help out... even in today's high gas pricing. At least they do here. :D
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Postby NZcaver » Oct 12, 2005 11:28 pm

Carpooling is definitely the way to go, especially with gas prices the way they are... :(

Splitting gas costs evenly (including the driver) seems to be the norm. So does taking turns driving on long trips. I could understand if a vehicle owner wanted to be excluded from sharing gas costs, as compensation for wear-and-tear on their vehicle. But personally I've never seen cavers do that.

If there's no-one around to carpool with, usually I'll make the drive myself anyway. That's the sacrifice I make to go caving. Ralph brought up a good point about those who maybe can't afford to help pay for gas at a particular time in their life. That's fine, so long as there is an *understanding* by all those involved. I too have been happy to let some others ride for free on trips. Before a trip begins, asking a simple question like "Everyone OK with us all splitting the gas cost?" might help to avoid any misunderstanding. And if someone can't give their share, then allowances can be made for that.

Case in point - I guess I should have spoken up before driving 3 other cavers on a trip earlier this year. I *assumed* we would ALL split the cost, because the other 3 were gainfully employed (even though I wasn't at the time). Two of the others dutifully offered their share at the end of the trip. Number 3, on the other hand, said he couldn't give me any money, because he'd just got engaged. :roll: Congratulations to him... but really, so what? :shock:

Lucky I'm a really easy-going guy, who was tired and happy at the end of a long caving day - so I told him "that's fine". It's not really a big deal, but I did find it just a little insulting. On the other hand, it's the only time I've met (let alone caved with) this guy. Looking at the big picture, perhaps other cavers will ride for free with him in future... :wink:
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Postby rchrds » Oct 13, 2005 8:32 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:
rchrds wrote:hee hee- that always depends on how she looks- If she's hot, "heck, I'm going there anyway." If she's not, then its "Hey, I'll get the first fill up, you get the next one."
Well! I'll be sure and not go caving with you!



too late! :lol:
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 13, 2005 10:15 pm

NZcaver wrote: Number 3, on the other hand, said he couldn't give me any money, because he'd just got engaged. :roll: Congratulations to him... but really, so what? :shock:

Lucky I'm a really easy-going guy, who was tired and happy at the end of a long caving day - so I told him "that's fine". It's not really a big deal, but I did find it just a little insulting. On the other hand, it's the only time I've met (let alone caved with) this guy. Looking at the big picture, perhaps other cavers will ride for free with him in future... :wink:

That was a lame excuse for baggin out on paying one's way if they could afford it. Even I wouldn't pull a trick like that. Even if it was only $5.00 (U.S.) that they could afford then at least they made an effort to offset the costs.
Yes, it's a good thing you're easy-going. I'll keep that in mind whenever I go caving in Middle Earth. :wink:
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