B-150310, FEB. 18, 1963

B-150310: Feb 18, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

LTD.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12. YOU BILLED ORIGINALLY AND WERE PAID $556.80 ON VOUCHER NO. 363125. AS THE RESULT OF OUR AUDIT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOU HAD OVERCHARGED THE GOVERNMENT $383.13 WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED. URGING THAT THE SHIPPING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COMMODITY ARE ACTUALLY THOSE OF A TRAILER EXCEEDING 44 INCHES IN HEIGHT. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WAS FOUND DUE SINCE THE LAUNCHER AND TRAILER WERE SO CONSTRUCTED AS TO BE INTEGRAL PARTS OF A COMPLETE UNIT. THE COMMODITY SHIPPED WAS DESCRIBED ON THE BILL OF LADING AS "1 TRL. WAS MAILED TO YOU. THERE WAS ATTACHED A COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30. IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT THE MACHINERY AND THE TRAILER WERE SO DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED AS TO BE INTEGRAL PARTS OF A COMPLETE UNIT.

B-150310, FEB. 18, 1963

TO WESTERN TRUCK LINES, LTD.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1962, FILE G- 02613, REQUESTING REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF OCTOBER 15, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM (OUR NO. TK-735939) FOR $383.13, AS ADDITIONAL FREIGHT CHARGES ALLEGEDLY DUE ON A SHIPMENT OF A GUIDED MISSILE LAUNCHER WHICH MOVED FROM THE OAKLAND ARMY TERMINAL, PIER 4, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, TO THE ARMY AIR DEFENSE BOARD, FORT BLISS, TEXAS, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. WY-8923464, DATED DECEMBER 22, 1959.

FOR THIS SERVICE, YOU BILLED ORIGINALLY AND WERE PAID $556.80 ON VOUCHER NO. 363125, IN THE JANUARY 1960 ACCOUNTS OF GEORGE M. SECKINGER. THE PAID CHARGES INCLUDED A MINIMUM LIFT TRUCK CHARGE OF $15, PLUS TRANSPORTATION CHARGES COMPUTED ON A WEIGHT OF 4,300 POUNDS AT $12.60 PER 100 POUNDS, THE DOUBLE FIRST-CLASS RATE APPLICABLE TO FREIGHT TRAILERS. AS THE RESULT OF OUR AUDIT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOU HAD OVERCHARGED THE GOVERNMENT $383.13 WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED. WE COMPUTED THE ALLOWABLE CHARGES TO BE $173.67 (INCLUDING THE LIFT TRUCK CHARGE) BASED ON 4,300 POUNDS AT $3.69 PER 100 POUNDS, THE COMMODITY RATE APPLICABLE TO ,MACHINERY, NOI," PROVIDED IN ITEM 4810 OF INTERSTATE FREIGHT CARRIERS CONFERENCE TARIFF NO. 1-E, MF-I.C.C. NO. 7. THEREAFTER, YOU SUBMITTED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF THE AMOUNT OF $383.13 ADMINISTRATIVELY DEDUCTED, URGING THAT THE SHIPPING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COMMODITY ARE ACTUALLY THOSE OF A TRAILER EXCEEDING 44 INCHES IN HEIGHT. BY OUR SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 15, 1962, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT NO ADDITIONAL AMOUNT WAS FOUND DUE SINCE THE LAUNCHER AND TRAILER WERE SO CONSTRUCTED AS TO BE INTEGRAL PARTS OF A COMPLETE UNIT.

THE COMMODITY SHIPPED WAS DESCRIBED ON THE BILL OF LADING AS "1 TRL, MACHINERY, NOI, SU, MOUNTED ON FREIGHT TRAILER, EXCEEDING 44 INCHES HIGH (LAUNCHER HAWK).' WHEN OUR REQUEST FOR REFUND, FORM NO. 1003, WAS MAILED TO YOU, THERE WAS ATTACHED A COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1960, FROM THE MILITARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OAKLAND 14, CALIFORNIA, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT THE MACHINERY AND THE TRAILER WERE SO DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED AS TO BE INTEGRAL PARTS OF A COMPLETE UNIT. BY A LETTER DATED JANUARY 8, 1962, ADDRESSED TO THE AGENCY AT OAKLAND, YOU ATTEMPTED TO GET FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE EXACT DIMENSIONS OF THE ARTICLE. IN ITS REPLY, DATED JANUARY 15, 1962, THE DEFENSE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SERVICE ADVISED THAT THE ARTICLE WAS 14 FEET, 7 INCHES LONG, 8 FEET WIDE, AND 7 FEET, 8 INCHES HIGH, BUT FURNISHED NO OTHER INFORMATION.

IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU APPARENTLY STILL CONTEND THAT THE COMMODITY SHIPPED WAS A COMBINATION ARTICLE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 15 OF THE NATIONAL MOTOR FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION A-4 WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN NOT SPECIFICALLY CLASSIFIED, ARTICLES WHICH HAVE BEEN COMBINED OR ATTACHED TO EACH OTHER WILL BE CHARGED AT THE RATE FOR THE HIGHEST CLASSED ARTICLE OF THE COMBINATION * * *.'

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR POSITION YOU REFER TO THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE OF OCTOBER 15, 1962, AND QUOTE PART OF THE STATEMENT MADE THEREIN CONCERNING THE COMMODITY, READING AS FOLLOWS: "THIS LAUNCHER IS MOUNTED ON A SPECIALLY CONSTRUCTED TRAILER.' THAT PHRASE WAS EXPLAINED IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE IN THE SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE IN THESE WORDS: "THE REFERENCE TO "TRAILER" MEANS ONLY THAT THE LAUNCHER IS TRANSPORTABLE, THE WHEELS BEING AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE UNIT ITSELF.' WE ENCLOSE SEVERAL COPIES OF PAGES (INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPH) FROM DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TECHNICAL MANUAL TM9-1440-500- 12/1 WHICH WE FEEL GIVE A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THIS COMMODITY.

IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE ENCLOSED INFORMATION FROM THE ARMY TECHNICAL MANUAL CLEARLY SHOWS THIS ARTICLE TO BE A COMPLETE SELF CONTAINED UNIT. THE BASE ASSEMBLY IS NOT MERELY A TRAILER BUT CONSISTS ALSO OF FUNCTIONAL PARTS OF THE MACHINERY. THE RATING OF SUCH A UNIT AS "MACHINERY, NOIBN," IS NOT ONLY CONSISTENT WITH THE OPINION OF THE WESTERN WEIGHING AND INSPECTION BUREAU CONTAINED IN A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1954 (COPY ENCLOSED), RELATIVE TO A MOBILE MISSILE LAUNCHER OF A SIMILAR TYPE BUT THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT VARIOUS TYPES OF LARGE MOBILE TYPE MACHINES, SUCH AS TRUCK-MOUNTED CONCRETE MIXERS AND TRUCK-MOUNTED CRANES, ARE COMPLETE UNITS, NOT COMBINATION ARTICLES. SEE, IN THIS REGARD, HARRISON CONSTRUCTION CO. V. CINCINNATI, N.O. AND T.P.RY.CO., 266 I.C.C. 313, STEWART AND STEVENSON SERVICES, INC. V. BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY, 276 I.C.C. 156, 157, AND OAKLAND TRUCK SALES CO. V. BALTIMORE AND OHIO R.CO., 270 I.C.C. 548.

SINCE THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM GIVES PROPER EFFECT TO THE DESCRIPTIVE DETAILS CONCERNING THE MISSILE LAUNCHER AND IS CONSISTENT WITH INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION PRECEDENTS, IT IS SUSTAINED.