Author Topic: Plumber. Take home van worth?  (Read 1972 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Plumber. Take home van worth?
« on: November 16, 2016, 09:48:15 PM »
Hey guys. I'm a plumber that works for a very small company (2 techs and the owner). So basically myself and another tech. We have the same amount of experience and get paid the same amount per hour plus commission. Here is the kicker. When the second tech was hired about a year ago, he and his wife only had one car. Because of this, the owner of the company offered to let him take his van home every night until he can get a second vehicle. This has been going on for a year now and the guy obviously has no desire to get himself a car since he is saving so much money driving the company van. He doesn't even pay for the gas that he uses though I'm not real sure the owner knows this (I'm quite certain he doesn't know). I get the feeling that the guy doesn't know how big of a deal it is that he is given a vehicle to drive since he is always complaining about money and needing a raise. He has a bit of a spending problem lol.

So here is my question. If I were to ask for a raise to equal the benefit of the other guy having a take home van, how much should I ask for? I don't really want a take home van myself but feel that I am basically being paid quite a bit less when you figure up how much money the other guy is saving by not having to have a second vehicle. I have no idea how to calculate the benefit of having a take home vehicle. If I had one, I would save about $30+ per week in gas. I would also pay quite a bit less in insurance since it would be driven much less. Let's just say a savings of $25 per month on that. Obviously there is also depreciation and maintenance to factor in as well. If I type any more, it will just be rambling out loud. Let me know what you guys think I should ask fo. Thanks so much in advance.

former player

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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 02:28:02 AM »
From your point of view this is an entirely reasonable request.

Let's turn it around and look at it from your boss's point of view.  He probably thinks his other employer is doing an OK job and wants to keep him, so that his business is on an even keel and he doesn't have to go to the trouble and risk of recruiting someone new.  He would lose this employee if he didn't give him use of the van as the employee has no other way of getting to work and can't afford a second car.  He has to have the van anyway, so that he is paying all the fixed costs for it is irrelevant.  The extra gas may or may not be something he has noticed but he is apparently not worried about it.  So from your boss's point of view the current situation is fine.  Now you come along asking for a raise.  That is money out of his pocket, for not much apparent benefit.  It makes the pay between his two employees unequal, which could be a source of unease to him or future difficulty between his employees.

So far, this is one of those situations where someone doing the right thing (being responsible with their money, being independent minded, etc.) is apparently disadvantaged by that.  Life's unfair like that.  How can you sell your request to your employer?  Traditionally, the only way (given no trade union and therefore no strike) is to find another job that pays better, or threaten to do so.  Before you go that far, you can try an appeal to fairness.  The more you can make meeting the request an advantage to your employer rather than just to you the more likely it is that it will be granted.  Good luck.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 03:00:38 AM »
Uh, it wouldn't be a raise, exactly. I'd approach the boss and ask to be leveled up or treated equally or something similar. I would not characterize it as a raise because it really isn't. You're just trying to balance a disparity.You've got to be careful with this. If the boss decides to remove the other guy's van privileges, it could lead to repercussions from your colleague.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 03:01:36 AM »
I agree with former player-- is there some other perk you can ask for besides a raise?


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 03:38:50 AM »
Oh dragoncar, I know you live nearby. Are you experiencing  a bout of insomnia too? If so, you have my sympathy..


  • Bristles
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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 08:10:21 AM »
I would just ask for a raise.  Worst case scenario the boss says no but at least you will know where the boss stands on the subject.  At that point you could look around for another plumbing gig that could be willing to pay you more since you have more experience now.

A current employer doesn't always see your worth to them until you are no longer an asset.  Keep pushing yourself for something better and better...

As for your coworkers and how much they get paid or their perks...  I would ignore them.


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Re: Plumber. Take home van worth?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 10:34:26 AM »
I think you should research what your position actually pays in the marketplace, then have a sitdown with your boss (face to face in private, not at a job site) and show him the research (assuming you are being paid below market) to see what he can do.  I would leave the van usage out of it (he knows it's in the equation).