B-140541, NOV. 3, 1959

B-140541: Nov 3, 1959

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TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID $1. THE CHARGES CLAIMED ON YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL ARE STATED AT THE CLASS 85 RATING APPLICABLE ON FREIGHT AUTOMOBILES. YOU CONTEND THAT THE MACHINERY RATING IS INAPPLICABLE. ALLEGING THAT THE LAUNCHER IS MOUNTED ON AN UNMODIFIED 5 TON. THAT THE ROCKET LAUNCHER IS ATTACHED BY "U" BOLTS OR BRACKETS. THE 762-MM TRUCK-MOUNTED ROCKET LAUNCHERS XM 289 IS DESCRIBED. THE LAUNCHER IS EQUIPPED WITH 5 SCREW-TYPE LEVELING JACKS WITH REMOVABLE BASE FLOATS WHICH ARE USED TO LEVEL THE LAUNCHER LONGITUDINALLY. IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH A POWER ELEVATING SYSTEM OPERATED THROUGH THE POWER TAKE-OFF BY THE MOTOR OF THE TRUCK.

B-140541, NOV. 3, 1959

TO CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILWAY COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1959, FILE N 68832 -G-A, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED JULY 17, 1959, IN CLAIM NO. TK-668144, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 66832- A-G-R-1935 IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,003.36 FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF 2 TRUCK MOUNTED ROCKET LAUNCHERS (762 MM), WITH EQUIPMENT, FROM FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA, TO FORT BENNING JUNCTION, GEORGIA.

THE SHIPMENTS IN QUESTION MOVED DURING MARCH AND APRIL 1957, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING NOS. WY-6786487 AND WY-6786346 AND WEIGHED 41,888 POUNDS AND 41,725 POUNDS RESPECTIVELY. FOR THIS SERVICE YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID $1,086.97, COMPUTED AT THE CLASS 45 RATING NAMED IN ITEM 29662 OF UNIFORM FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION NO. 3 FOR MACHINERY OR MACHINES, NOIBN. THE CHARGES CLAIMED ON YOUR SUPPLEMENTAL BILL ARE STATED AT THE CLASS 85 RATING APPLICABLE ON FREIGHT AUTOMOBILES, AS NAMED IN ITEM 43780 OF THE SAME CLASSIFICATION. YOU CONTEND THAT THE MACHINERY RATING IS INAPPLICABLE, ALLEGING THAT THE LAUNCHER IS MOUNTED ON AN UNMODIFIED 5 TON, 6 BY 6 TRUCK CHASSIS; THAT THE ROCKET LAUNCHER IS ATTACHED BY "U" BOLTS OR BRACKETS, AND THAT THE LIFT MECHANISM OPERATED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE AUTOMOBILE ENGINE.

THE 762-MM TRUCK-MOUNTED ROCKET LAUNCHERS XM 289 IS DESCRIBED, IN DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TECHNICAL MANUAL TM 9-3060, AS A SELF-PROPELLED HEAVY FIELD ARTILLERY WEAPON WHICH PROVIDES A BASE FOR LAUNCHING LARGE CALIBER ROCKETS. THE LAUNCHER IS EQUIPPED WITH 5 SCREW-TYPE LEVELING JACKS WITH REMOVABLE BASE FLOATS WHICH ARE USED TO LEVEL THE LAUNCHER LONGITUDINALLY, AND IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH A POWER ELEVATING SYSTEM OPERATED THROUGH THE POWER TAKE-OFF BY THE MOTOR OF THE TRUCK. THE ROCKET IS FIRED ELECTRICALLY, AND THE ELECTRICAL FIRING CIRCUIT IS POWERED BY THE 24-VOLT ELECTRICAL SYSTEM OF THE TRUCK.

THE LAUNCHER IS MOUNTED ON A 5-TON, 6 BY 6 TRUCK CHASSIS M-139 C, WHICH HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY MODIFIED TO RECEIVE THE LAUNCHER. THE M 139C TRUCK CHASSIS WEIGHS 19,590 POUNDS AND WAS ORIGINALLY DESIGNED AS A COMPONENT OF A SPECIAL EQUIPMENT VEHICLE WITH A MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT OF 42,000 POUNDS. THE FRONT SUSPENSION WAS STRENGTHENED BY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF SPRINGS AND MODIFYING THE "U" BOLTS AND BRACKETS ACCORDINGLY. A PRESTRESSED REINFORCING STRUT WAS INSTALLED ON THE AXLE HOUSING. BRACKETS WERE WELDED TO THE AXLE HOUSING AND POSITIONED TO SUPPORT THE STRUT. THE GAS TANK WAS MODIFIED AND A DIFFERENT EXHAUST PIPE ADDED TO PROVIDE CLEARANCE FOR MOUNTING THE LAUNCHER ON THE TRUCK CHASSIS. ADDITIONAL HOLES WERE DRILLED IN THE CHASSIS FRAME TO MOUNT THE LAUNCHER AND LEVELING JACKS, AND THE CAB OF THE CHASSIS ITSELF WAS MODIFIED.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD AND THE ARMY MANUALS INDICATES THAT RULE 18 OF THE CLASSIFICATION AND THE TARIFF DESCRIPTION URGED BY YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THESE SHIPMENTS IS INAPPLICABLE. IT IS APPARENT FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THE ROCKET LAUNCHER, WHICH ITSELF WEIGHS MORE THAN 22,000 POUNDS, COULD NOT HANDILY BE DETACHED FROM THE TRUCK CHASSIS WHICH SUPPORTS IT AND RENDERS THE DEVICE A MOBILE ARTILLERY WEAPON. IF REMOVED, THE CONSEQUENT LOSS OF MOBILITY WOULD RENDER THE LAUNCHER INCAPABLE OF FUNCTIONING AS ORIGINALLY INTENDED. MOREOVER, EVEN ASSUMING THAT THE LAUNCHER COULD BE DETACHED FROM THE CHASSIS BED, THE VEHICLE COULD BE USED FOR NO OTHER BENEFICIAL PURPOSE UNLESS EXTENSIVE STRUCTURAL MODIFICATIONS WERE MADE TO THE CHASSIS.

THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS REPEATEDLY ENUNCIATED THE PRINCIPLE THAT RULE 18 IS INAPPLICABLE IN INSTANCES SUCH AS THIS WHERE THE VEHICLE IS SO CONSTRUCTED TO RECEIVE THE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT, THAT THE CHASSIS WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE OTHER THAN AS A CARRIER OR AS A SUPPORT FOR THE MACHINERY. SEE HARRISON CONSTRUCTION CO. V. CINCINNATI, N.O. AND T. RY.CO., 266 I.C.C. 313; OAKLAND TRUCK SALES CO. V. BALTIMORE AND O.R.R. CO., 270 I.C.C. 548; AUGUST PLANTS, INC. V. LONG ISLAND R.R. CO., 281 I.C.C. 172.

ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS STATED, OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 17, 1959, IS SUSTAINED.