B-131741, JAN. 7, 1958

B-131741: Jan 7, 1958

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TO COAST COUNTIES EXPRESS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF OUR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM (SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 7797-273A) FOR ADDITIONAL FREIGHT CHARGES IN THE AMOUNT OF $68.76. YOU WERE PAID IN THE REDUCED AMOUNT OF $90.84 BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON THE BASIS OF A CLASS-A RATE OF 34 1/2 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS. YOU WERE NOTIFIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT YOUR BILL HAD BEEN REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF $68.76. WERE FURNISHED TWO 35-FOOT VEHICLES BY THE CARRIER AT ITS OWN CONVENIENCE. THE LETTER FURTHER STATED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE FREIGHT TENDERED COULD NOT HAVE BEEN LOADED ON THE EQUIPMENT ORDERED. IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU STATE THAT THERE WAS NO CONCEIVABLE MANNER IN WHICH THE LAUNDRY UNITS COULD BE LOADED ON TWO 22-FOOT TRAILERS.

B-131741, JAN. 7, 1958

TO COAST COUNTIES EXPRESS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF OUR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM (SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 7797-273A) FOR ADDITIONAL FREIGHT CHARGES IN THE AMOUNT OF $68.76, ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR TRANSPORTING FOUR TRAILER- MOUNTED LAUNDRY UNITS IN TWO 35-FOOT SEMI-TRAILERS FROM SANTA ANA TO NEBO, CALIFORNIA, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. N 1468657, DATED MAY 14, 1956.

FOR THIS SERVICE YOU ORIGINALLY CLAIMED $159.60, COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF A FIRST-CLASS RATE OF 76 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS AT A MINIMUM CARLOAD WEIGHT OF 10,000 POUNDS FOR EACH OF THE TWO VEHICLES USED, PLUS A 5 PERCENT SURCHARGE, AS PROVIDED IN THE MINIMUM CHARGE PROVISION, ITEM 100, OF PACIFIC STATES MOTOR TARIFF BUREAU GOVERNMENT QUOTATION NO. 3-B. YOU WERE PAID IN THE REDUCED AMOUNT OF $90.84 BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON THE BASIS OF A CLASS-A RATE OF 34 1/2 CENTS PER 100 POUNDS, AND A MINIMUM WEIGHT OF 24,000 POUNDS, PLUS A 5 PERCENT SURCHARGE, AS PROVIDED IN ITEM 31890 OF CONSOLIDATED FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 20 AND PACIFIC STATES MOTOR TARIFF BUREAU QUOTATION NO. 3-B. BY A CORRECTION LETTER DATED JULY 11, 1956, YOU WERE NOTIFIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT YOUR BILL HAD BEEN REDUCED BY THE AMOUNT OF $68.76, FOR THE REASON THAT, AS SHOWN IN THE PROPER SPACE ON THE BILL OF LADING, THE GOVERNMENT HAD ORDERED ONE SET OF 22 FOOT DOUBLES, COMPRISING ONE VEHICLE, BUT WERE FURNISHED TWO 35-FOOT VEHICLES BY THE CARRIER AT ITS OWN CONVENIENCE. THE LETTER FURTHER STATED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE FREIGHT TENDERED COULD NOT HAVE BEEN LOADED ON THE EQUIPMENT ORDERED, THE FAILURE OF THE CARRIER TO FURNISH THE EQUIPMENT ORDERED SHOULD NOT BE USED TO PENALIZE THE SHIPPER IN TRANSPORTATION COSTS.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU STATE THAT THERE WAS NO CONCEIVABLE MANNER IN WHICH THE LAUNDRY UNITS COULD BE LOADED ON TWO 22-FOOT TRAILERS; THAT THE MAXIMUM LENGTH OF LOAD, INCLUDING TRAILERS AND POWER UNITS, IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, IS 60 FEET, AND THAT THE FOUR LAUNDRY UNITS MEASURED A TOTAL OF 58 FEET, WHICH ALLOWED AN INSUFFICIENT LENGTH FOR TRACTOR AND TURNING RADIUS. YOU ALSO STATE, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR COMPANY REGULARLY SUPPLIES 22 AND 24-FOOT TRAILERS FOR USE IN PAIRS, OR "DOUBLES," PRESUMABLY FOR USE IN CALIFORNIA. THEREFORE, YOUR MAJOR CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE THAT THE FREIGHT COULD NOT BE LOADED ON A PAIR OF 22-FOOT TRAILERS.

THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS; WHICH SHIPPED THE SUBJECT MATERIAL, REPORTS THAT TWO LAUNDRY UNITS COULD BE LOADED ON EACH OF THE TWO 22 FOOT TRAILERS BY PLACING ONE LARGE LAUNDRY UNIT ON THE FRONT OF A TRAILER WITH ITS TONGUE LASHED TO THE DECK SO THAT THE SECOND OR SMALLER UNIT WOULD BE PLACED IN A LIKE MANNER AT THE REAR OF THE TRAILER WITH ITS TONGUE SECURED TO THE DECK BENEATH THE BODY OF THE FIRST UNIT IN THE MANNER SHOWN IN FIGURE NO. 78, ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS' PAMPHLET NO. MD.7, FOR LOADING ON FLAT CARS.

WHETHER OR NOT THE FREIGHT COULD BE LOADED ON THE EQUIPMENT ORDERED IS A QUESTION OF FACT, AND IN CLAIMS INVOLVING DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT BETWEEN A CLAIMANT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IT IS THE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT THE STATEMENT OF FACTS FURNISHED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS, IN THE ABSENCE OF CONVINCING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 325; 14 ID. 927, 929. YOU HAVE PRESENTED NO EVIDENCE TO DISPROVE THE STATEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OTHER THAN YOUR OWN ASSERTION, AND THE LATTER FAILS TO MAKE SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE SYSTEM OF LOADING PROPOSED AND TO SHOW WHY THAT SYSTEM WOULD NOT ACCOMPLISH ITS OBJECTIVE. ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS CORRECT, AND IS SUSTAINED.