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Old 06-07-2016   #21
Eastside, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 14
Man, I am happy to tip when I receive good/great service. But with a shuttle, how do you know? Did he take care of your rig like it was his own, or did he drive it like a maniac?

There's one shuttle company in Idaho that even asks on their form/website "How much will you include for a tip?" Not, "If you want to leave a tip.........."
Man, that's pretty aggressive................

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Old 06-07-2016   #22
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,324
Originally Posted by johnovice View Post
Ouch! -- I resemble that remark.

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Old 06-07-2016   #23
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

For my GC shuttles -- long miles but not terrible roads -- I leave a note for the driver, saying if they leave me their name and address, I'll send them a little something extra if all goes well.


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Old 06-07-2016   #24
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,660
Originally Posted by mtrafter View Post
Man i remember all my smith river shuttles being the best,trucks vaccumed and cleaned everytime i must of been doing something right lol
There is one company that does that regardless of tip, my truck was just an f'ing mess to start and when done it was literally detailed (cup holders clean, every bin emptied cleaned and refilled as it was left. The whole process was not due to the tip, but I'm thinking that the degree might have been? Smith River Shuttle Company. They are the only one I've found that ever did this.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 06-07-2016   #25
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,931
yeah, assumed gratuity seems a bit much. I almost always pre-trip but I have used the same shuttle services for years now.

We struggle with the gratuity issue in the ski industry as well. Its a fine line balancing the ideal of educating customers that its a service industry (working hard to increase pay for our instructors but its an uphill battle) with tact. We came up with a simple "gratuity is appreciate sign" as our previous director didn't want any communication.

I would hope shuttle drivers are getting at least minimum wage if not a higher livable wage for the season. I would doubt their job description and coding is such that they are listed as exempt from minimum wage but I could be wrong. I tip shuttle drivers but not the same 20-25% I do for employees who make closer to the federal allowable $3ish/hour like restaurant employees or those who get paid piecemeal.

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Old 06-07-2016   #26
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,660
Originally Posted by Jamesdking View Post
Tip 20% anytime a tip is due. If you feel you could have done it yourself then you should have and a service was not needed. The service industry spends all of their cash back into the economy too. They aren't putting 20 bucks cash into a bad stock or something so it strengthens your local economy. This is why Montana doesn't seem to care about taxing service industry tips I've always figured. Also I would assume the shuttle guys will remember you the next time and make sure you are their first priority. Take it from a bartender. We remember who bought our food and beer at the end of the day.
I tip servers/bartenders well. I always have. I was in the service industry for a time, thought not one that was normally tipped (ski rental/retail). I certainly didn't expect a tip for setting up some ones skis correctly, but when I delivered them to their house, or cabin (ski in ski out) I sure did.

The F&B industry bases their salaries on tipping, too me that's a totally different animal. In part your tip is salary, in part a reward for quality of service. To me 10% is minimum for sub par service, bad or negative service might get nothing but I can only recall that happening twice. Good service gets 20% and cute flirting ladies get 25%. You give me something for nothin' (i.e. free shot) you get that value added to your tip.

Shuttle drivers are usually retired folks just looking for extra $ and to get out of the house. I always felt they were well compensated on both accounts, but as things have grown and other services have been added (see my recent smith river comment), now I can see that there are times to tip.

I'm not likely going to tip my driver on a day trip on the Yellowstone. They get a percentage and run like 20 shuttles a day - they're probably making more than me. But for a guy that runs my truck for 300-400 miles, then cleans it, I will continue to tip. Next time it will be better.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 06-07-2016   #27
Chandler, Arizona
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
Just for the record, the OP refers to the Deso/Gray shuttle specifically... which is a long, rough road. My experience has been excellent with River Runners Transport, and I tip them well. I am happy to continue doing so as long as they provide a service which I value.
No doubt a tip is necessary and will be provided, just want to make sure the amount is respectable and appropriate. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2016   #28
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I have used a lot of shuttle companies and most do the job ok, but hard to tell if they drive my truck and trailer the way I do (that is the worse the road surface the slower I drive) hard to justify big tips for the average shuttle driver.

On the other hand Smith River shuttle company has done shuttles for me some three times and WOW, they deserve a tip. Also this company uses local drivers. Have to say these folks run one heck of a excellent customer oriented service.

Same goes for river runners out of Vernal Utah. Have used them many times on Deso Gray, Yampa and Lodore. Been by their shop and talked to the owners and these folks run a ship shape organization and use decent drivers. I know on a recent Deso Gray trip I had a really marginal lawn tractor hauler type trailer jury rigged to haul river gear and one of the owners told me they drove trailers like this slower than usual but history showed even with extra attention these short light weight trailers bounce a lot and things shake loose. I agreed with him and said if something broke, do the best they can and I would take care of it. Turns out nothing shook off. Their record on Deso Gray roads is as good as it gets.

Both these outfits go beyond what I have seen in the general shuttle business and deserve at least recommendations to other boaters and if possible a tip if your budget can tip.
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Old 06-22-2016   #29
vernal, Utah
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 27
Do not leave beer or weed for a tip..neither is appropriate and drivers are actually offended by this. The $10 to $20 is appreciated more.
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Old 08-27-2016   #30
TupperwareBill's Avatar
Fruita, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 12
I've been a shuttle driver before and let me tell you they don't pay for shit! Consider this, you are paying a shuttle company quite a hefty sum for the service and you are trusting them with the responsibility of taking your vehicle several miles often down sketchy roads. the guy actually doing the driving probably gets a set rate (diddly squat) and has compete control over what happens to the car, how fast he drives, where your transportation gets parked, making sure the vehicle gets locked up and that you can get into it. When you don't tip you have real bad karma coming your way. PS shuttle drivers are not there to clean up your car, only to keep it as clean as it was when they got into it. I've found that the best tippers drive POS Subaru's that smell like a wet dogs ass.

Oh, if you leave weed in the car and the driver gets pulled over for any reason they get a possesion rap, so just tip well and let the drivers buy thier own weed, beer, food, etc.. 20% is the recomended tip if you get good service (you should expect it if you don't get it let the shuttle company know they will get rid of that loser in a heart beat). the tip sould be given to the shuttle company in a sealed envelope and a note should be left in the car so that the driver knows about it, believe it or not there are people that will steal from drivers, maybe the girl behind the desk or someone who moves the car around the parking lot etc...don't just leave money in the car.

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