Author Topic: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?  (Read 6385 times)

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1 Draggin

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Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« on: July 20, 2014, 08:11:58 AM »
     I just wanted to start a thread on a topic that has been on my mind for a while. I'm sure that many of the rest of you pullers are noticing the same thing.
Why is it that the pullers are being charged a gate admission and the full hook fees ? Used to be what ever we paid at the gate was taken off of your first hook fee. So we are being charged to watch the show just like a spectator, when we ARE the show. The puller paid the money to get their truck to the pull, in the pull and ready for the pull. Now we are being charged to watch ! Last night at Lexington was a prime example the puller who has paid many extra dollars just to get there with their truck was charged and extra amount to get into the pits. With out the drivers/owners in the pits there would not have been a pull, their admission SHOULD have been waived not raised above that of a spectator. I totally understand that we all depend on one another to make a successful pull.
Promoter/facility, pullers and spectators all have to come together and without any single one of the three there will be no opportunity for anyone. But what I see is the pullers are being bestowed the burden of paying unjustly increases just to get to pull our trucks. With the amount of money that is being raised at any one of these events. Purses need to be increased and trophies need to be given for EVERY class that runs. Which brings me to my other 2 topics.
 The lack of trophies at any pull is not acceptable. With all the increased fees to get in the gate, hook the truck and then not to get a trophy if you are lucky enough to place is pretty poor on the promoters part. We take a lot of pride in our trucks, and a trophy for a job well done means a lot after the excitement of the pull is over and the purse money is spent (which is all to quickly).
  The amount of money that is being raised at these pulls should enable the promoters to increase the payouts substancially give out trophies and remove or refund gate fees to the puller. The cost to build and maintain any of these trucks has certainly increased ten fold over the last ten years and the cost just to get there has certainly increased so I feel the puller has already paid their share of increased participation fees and promoters need to give back more to the ones who are really making it happen.
  I hope some of the rest of you will add comments , thoughts and opinions. The purpose of this was for the pullers as a whole .

Warpath

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 08:08:22 AM »
Bedford I think it is a combination of several things that causes these problems.  It is hard to have any kind of consistency with fees, purse, pit access, pulling order, which classes are run etc. when all of these events take place for different reasons / causes.  I have talked to several pullers and different promoters over the years about these same issues and the bottom line is the pullers opinion seems to always be closer to the bottom of the list of priorities than the top.  What I have personally experienced is when you go to a pull that is being promoted by someone with ties to the pulling community you are going to have a pretty good experience, but when the event is part of a fair, festival or some sort of charity you are going to get the big shaft! 

I went to an event a couple of years ago that was put on by a volunteer organization and took my wife and two kids (4 YO & 8 YO at the time).  They charged me and my wife $12 each and $10 each for my kids!!  So that was $44 at the gate and another $20 to pull ($64 Total)!  When I questioned why the pullers were getting rapped at the gate I was told that “the money was for a good cause.”  I wasn’t questioning what they planned on using the money for, but how they were going about getting the money!!

I typically take my golf cart to pulls and I have even been charged a “golf cart fee!”  Another location that I have been to several times always allowed golf carts, but the last time I went I was told that I couldn’t take it off of my trailer.  Well I can’t get my truck off of the trailer without unloading the golf cart first!  So they sent a security officer to my trailer to watch me unload the golf cart, unload my truck and then made me put the golf cart back on the trailer while I pulled.  Another example of an event promoted by a volunteer organization.

I am pretty familiar with the law and the authority law enforcement officers have on private property.  I went to an event one time and a Deputy Sheriff was being paid by the promoter to assist with the event and part of his responsibility was to search vehicles for coolers and to inspect for alcohol.  This would have been fine if the promoter was the one searching or if a private security officer was doing the digging, but a law enforcement officer cannot search your vehicle or closed containers in the vehicle without a warrant or a few other exceptions.  Driving into a truck pull is not one of those other exceptions!

Sometimes it is a lack of communication between the promoter and their staff (people collecting the money) or the promoter and whoever represents the pullers.  For example, one year Dragon Motorsports competitors were told that if they had a Dragon Motorsports membership card they would not have to pay entry fees at the gate of any event at Dragon Motorsports Park (DMP) and other selected locations.  I was never charged at DMP, but was charged at several other events only to find out later that the person taking the money wasn’t told that pullers should not pay an admission charge.  In some cases the negotiation between the promoter and the representative of the pullers about an admission charge never happens or isn’t successful.

A common response from a lot of the pullers when you bring this stuff up is that they are “just glad to have a place to pull.”  None of this stuff will ever change until the pullers get together and develop a louder voice.  The recent movement in Nascar with the owners forming a race team alliance (RTA) is being fueled by a lot of these same issues in that sport.  It’s being publicized as a way to save the teams money, but it boils down to the owners are tired of being run over by the bureaucrats in Nascar.  Seems every sport has its share of money hungry bureaucrats! 

Honestly I think a lot of money changes hands at a truck pull, but not a whole lot of money is being made by anyone.  Ask any promoter and they will tell you that it is a hell of a lot work for very little pay!  By the time you pay for advertisement, facility, sled, track crew, insurance, food, bathrooms (sometimes) there just ain’t much money left for a purse.  But that still doesn’t justify making up for it from the pullers.       

How do you fix it?  Basically you get together, decide what you want (within reason), communicate that to the promoters and other stakeholders.  Either they make the changes with the pullers in mind or nobody shows up to pull!  The first step seems to be the hardest and that is getting all of the pullers onboard.           

My two cents for what it’s worth…

Kirk 

4speed

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 08:27:05 PM »
Whoo..where to start? Lets start with trophies. I agree with you Bedford I like to get trophies too.. when we are fortunate enough to place in the top 3 or 4 especially when you win & its your first win or a pull won at a special event, I always try to have trophies at the pulls we do in Monterey but when we do a second pull I don't because if the event is cancelled I have to set on 600-700 worth of trophies until next year because there is no date available with a sled to get it done. If my first Pull were to be rained out or something its not as big a deal to hold them over until the second pull. (this money does come out of mine or Tom's pocket. Again I do like to get them too when I finish in the top 3 or 4. I have won several pulls this year and have only gotten 2.

Now for the gate fee...I know it seems wrong to charge the pullers for getting in to a pull and I used to fuss about it until we done our first pull and found out first hand how LITTLE money is left in the kitty when everything has been paid. I know some groups that promote pulls get a lot of sponsors to help off set costs and I'm sure their profit margin looks a whole lot better at times but without sponsors that profit can be as little as 200.00 clear, which is what ours was last fall...that's too close for comfort when that money is coming out of 2 peoples pockets. Let me give you an example of what it takes for a NON Sponsored Pull to take place...

1st sled 2100.00...2nd insurance 650.00+..3rd johnny houses.800.00..4th advertizement 500.00 5th trophies 600.00 6th registration sheets,arm bands 50.00+ 7th Announcer 200.00 8th Track equipment(tractors w/operators) roller..500.00+= $5400.00+ before the first person has ever came through the gate...
Then if you have say.. 90 hooks..thats $1800 and we generally pay between 3400-4000 out so the difference has to come from the gate too and then any of the event help that is not volunteer has to be paid from the gate. Then the property owner gets 25% of the take..there is just not much left if only 800 -900 people pay to get in..which is a normal crowd for us.

So if you add this up 8500. gate+ 1800 hook fee+ 500.00 food commission=10800.00- 5400.00(start up)-3400(payout)=2000.00 left before help, 25% to property owner, points money, etc. There's just not much left at the end for the effort it takes to put it on BUT we don't do it just  for the money but because we like to use a vacant facility where most like to come pull. If we or any other promoter could get those gate numbers up into the thousands then yes I would say something needs to change...but there is just not enough to go around with less than 1000 people showing up.

Now I do realize that some events do draw very large crowds and have lots of sponsors and Iam sure they could payout a lot more and buy trophies but we cant just say everyone can afford to do it, because the facts are these smaller pulls with smaller crowds just don't get the revenue to do so. Just thought I could give some insight from the inside looking out from someone that has sat on both sides of the fence.

So after realizing what it takes for us, when I go to another pull (regardless of where) I just pay my gate fee and my hook fee and never give it a second thought anymore.Aaron
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 08:40:56 PM by 4speed »

1 Draggin

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 03:27:05 PM »
 Kirk I totally agree with you that any pull I have ever been to that  another puller  has had influence as to how the pull goes, be it running orders,payout etc. it has been a better pull because of their experience. I also whole heartedly agree that if anything is to change people / pullers must get together / stand together.
I also know and agree that the hardest thing to do here is to get pullers/people together and to stand together. Which was part of the reason I wanted to start this thread. I believe the first step in getting pullers together is to get people talking in a constructive atmosphere ( things only get better if we first talk about it ). I wasn't trying to throw stones. But sometimes the only way to get things rolling to just jump in.
  I have thought about the vol. fire depart pulls and other volunteer groups who put on pulls and I totally agree that the moneys go to a good purpose. But as far as the pullers paying the gate fee. I still don't agree with that. We paid our gate fee building and getting our trucks to them to put on  the pull so they can raise that revenue.
  You bring out some very interesting news to me about the nascar stuff. I never knew this was going on. Makes me feel like I'm not the only tight wad LOL. !
 Aaron, I knew going into this subject that there were a lot of dynamics with the costs I didn't know the current amounts of. But  I have talked with people who have had lots of experience promoting pulls many years ago when gate fees and hook fees were half of todays cost and they were making really good profits. So that tells me there are a few things we can work on to maybe make things better. I'll get to that in a minute.
  Some of the things that I see that have changed in the last couple years is what pushed me to starting this thread . Is the lack of trophies in the last couple years and the pullers paying the gate fees and I haven't seen where the cost of promoting could have increased that much.
 First that's look at the biggest expense. Sled rental. What can we do to help this or eliminate ??
 Track equipment. Can we get dealers/ rental co. to help out with the equip in return for advertising, does that relationship exist if not how do we get there ???
 Sponsors for anything 1 class payout , trophies, porta johns anything they are willing to sponsor to help cut cost.
 Now the other side of the fence. Literally. What do we do to make more money. Increasing fees is  not the answer. drawing more trucks, try to do everything to get ALL available trucks too come out and hook.  Each truck brings more spectators.
 What else can we do to draw spectators ?
Thanks 2 U both 4 responding. I would like to see better things for everyone in this sport. I think if we work together it can get better.

460bullnose

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 03:45:56 AM »
Well guys I'm gonna jump in an throw my two cents. I may be new to havin a truck myself but my family been pullin for years. That bein said, I think one of the major things that need to happen is we need a more consistent set of classes . We've got alot of pulls within 100 miles or so an in my opinion we need to try to get kind of a standard set of classes.I know with a crowd as big as this its hard for everybody to see eye to eye but we need to get to a understanding so we can have better pulls. I like watchin all the mtboyz, they put on a helluva show. But I also like to see the competitiveness of the street trucks to. And theirs jus as many people if not more who come to see them. My trucks been broke down this year an that's my fault but a lot of pulls havent even had a street class . Jus like some haven't had 6200 ol school or altered or whatever . I think some of the promoters an class reps need to have a sit Down.

daveahllzx6r

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 07:39:24 PM »
Short and simple. My employes don't pay me to work. Why should we pay to put on a show.

1 Draggin

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 04:26:29 PM »
  Bullnose I totally agree with u about the spectators and the street trucks. Every truck that shows up at a pull brings a certain amount of spectators, and street trucks and those pullers are the life blood of a healthy club. I call it the grass roots. That is where it all starts and some of those pullers will someday move up to the bigger classes and without that a club/classes will soon dry up.
  Dave I appreciate your short and simple comment.
 We need to hear more comments and or suggestions, because I know there are some good ideas out there and in the end it is all who benefit ?

daveahllzx6r

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Re: Gate admission , hook fees and trophies. Trend or greed ?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 03:21:11 AM »
With everything that air am seeing if we all want this to work then we all need to pitch in and help find better cheaper ways to still put on a good show.