B-169322, APR. 30, 1970

B-169322: Apr 30, 1970

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WHICH WAS REQUIRED TO ASSIST CARRIER TRUCK TO PULL TRAILER FROM MUDDY PARKING SPACE TO HIGHWAY ARE REIMBURSABLE SINCE WRECKER SERVICE IS NOT CONSIDERED EXPENSE OF PREPARING TRAILER FOR MOVEMENT WITHIN MEANING OF PROHIBITION IN SEC. 9.3A (3) OF BOB CIR. IS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL SERVICE TO INITIATE TRANSPORTATION MOVEMENT. ALTHOUGH WRECKER SERVICE IS INCLUDED IN "ADVANCE CHARGES" IN APPLICABLE TARIFF. IT IS NOT INCLUDED IN "SPECIAL SERVICES" UNDER RULE 180 THEREIN WHICH IS REFERENCED IN AFOREMENTIONED SECTION OF CIRCULAR. PILOT CAR SERVICE FOREST SERVICE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR PILOT CAR SERVICES PERFORMED BY HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE AND REIMBURSED HIM BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF HIS TRAILER SINCE PILOT CAR SERVICE CHARGES ARE REIMBURSABLE WHERE REQUIRED BY STATE LAW AND ASSESSED UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFF.

B-169322, APR. 30, 1970

TRANSPORTATION--TRAILERS--SPECIAL SERVICES--WRECKER SERVICE CHARGE CHARGES FOR WRECKER SERVICE, INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF TRAILER, WHICH WAS REQUIRED TO ASSIST CARRIER TRUCK TO PULL TRAILER FROM MUDDY PARKING SPACE TO HIGHWAY ARE REIMBURSABLE SINCE WRECKER SERVICE IS NOT CONSIDERED EXPENSE OF PREPARING TRAILER FOR MOVEMENT WITHIN MEANING OF PROHIBITION IN SEC. 9.3A (3) OF BOB CIR. NO. A-56, NOR OTHERWISE PROHIBITED THEREIN, BUT IS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL SERVICE TO INITIATE TRANSPORTATION MOVEMENT. ALTHOUGH WRECKER SERVICE IS INCLUDED IN "ADVANCE CHARGES" IN APPLICABLE TARIFF, IT IS NOT INCLUDED IN "SPECIAL SERVICES" UNDER RULE 180 THEREIN WHICH IS REFERENCED IN AFOREMENTIONED SECTION OF CIRCULAR. TRANSPORTATION --HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS--HOUSE TRAILER SHIPMENTS--PILOT CAR SERVICE FOREST SERVICE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE MAY BE ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR PILOT CAR SERVICES PERFORMED BY HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE AND REIMBURSED HIM BY COMMERCIAL CARRIER INCIDENT TO SHIPMENT OF HIS TRAILER SINCE PILOT CAR SERVICE CHARGES ARE REIMBURSABLE WHERE REQUIRED BY STATE LAW AND ASSESSED UNDER APPLICABLE TARIFF, AND IT CANNOT BE SAID SUCH SERVICES WERE PERFORMED AT NO EXPENSE TO CLAIMANT WHEN HE WAS OBLIGED TO TRAVEL AT REQUIRED SLOW PACE AND HAD PER DIEM REDUCED FOR FAILURE TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED DISTANCE OF 300 MILES PER CALENDAR DAY. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 107 (1967).

TO MR. GEORGE D. BREITMEIER:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 5, 1970, REFERENCE 6540, REQUESTS A DECISION ON THE ALLOWABILITY OF THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES HEREIN DESCRIBED TO MR. PETER D. BATES RELATED TO THE SHIPMENT OF HIS TRAILER INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER (JULY 1969) FROM PAONIA, COLORADO, TO WALL, SOUTH DAKOTA, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE.

MR. BATES HAS BEEN REIMBURSED $1,287.43 AND SEEKS A RECLAIM OF $104.75 DISALLOWED ON HIS PAYMENT VOUCHER. THE $104.75 INCLUDES $89.75 FOR PILOT SERVICE AS REQUIRED BY THE STATES OF COLORADO AND WYOMING OVER THE ROUTE USED. MR. BATES AND HIS WIFE TRAVELED IN CARAVAN WITH THE COMMERCIAL CARRIER, THE NATIONAL TRAILER COMPANY. HE DROVE HIS PICKUP TRUCK AND THE WIFE DROVE THEIR OTHER VEHICLE. IN COLORADO WHERE ONLY ONE PILOT IS REQUIRED, MR. BATES PERFORMED THIS SERVICE. IN WYOMING WHERE TWO PILOT VEHICLES ARE REQUIRED, MR. BATES AND HIS WIFE PERFORMED THE NECESSARY SERVICES. THE NATIONAL TRAILER COMPANY PAID MR. BATES $89.75 ($39.75 IN COLORADO FOR 169 MILES AT 25[ A MILE AND $50 IN WYOMING FOR 100 MILES AT 25[ A MILE PER VEHICLE). THE COMPANY THEN BILLED MR. BATES $89.75 FOR THE PILOT CAR SERVICES WHICH HE PAID AS THOUGH SUCH SERVICES WERE RENDERED BY A THIRD PARTY.

MR. BATES WAS REIMBURSED 12[ A MILE FOR ONE OF THE VEHICLES AS TRANSFER OF STATION MILEAGE. YOU QUESTION THE LEGALITY OF PAYING BOTH MILEAGE AND PILOT CAR EXPENSE FOR THE SAME VEHICLE AND THE PILOT CAR EXPENSE FOR THE OTHER VEHICLE.

YOU ALSO DISALLOWED A $15 WRECKER SERVICE CHARGE. THIS SERVICE WAS REQUIRED TO HELP THE CARRIER TRUCK PULL THE TRAILER ON TO THE HIGHWAY FROM ITS PARKING PLACE. THE AREA AROUND THE TRAILER HAD BECOME SLICK FROM A RECENT RAIN AND THE CARRIER TRUCK NEEDED HELP TO MOVE THE TRAILER. YOU FEEL THIS IS AN EXPENSE OF PREPARING THE TRAILER FOR MOVEMENT AND NOT ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 9.3A (3) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 56.

PILOT CAR SERVICE CHARGES WHERE REQUIRED BY STATE LAW AND ASSESSED UNDER THE APPLICABLE TARIFF ARE REIMBURSABLE. 47 COMP. GEN. 107 (1967). THE PRIMARY QUESTION HERE INVOLVING THE $89.75 FOR PILOT CAR SERVICES ARISES BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE RATHER THAN THIRD PARTIES PERFORMED THE SERVICES. IN PERFORMING THE PILOT SERVICES MR. BATES AND HIS WIFE WERE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ON THE SAME SCHEDULE AS THE CARRIER. IN FACT BY SO DOING THEY WERE PUT TO SOME ADDITIONAL EXPENSES BECAUSE OF THE SLOWER RATE OF TRAVEL. WE NOTE THE REDUCTION IN PER DIEM ALLOWED TO 2 3/4 DAYS FROM THE 3 1/2 DAYS CLAIMED FOR FAILING TO MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF 300 MILES PER CALENDAR DAY. WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE PILOT SERVICE WAS PERFORMED AT NO EXPENSE TO MR. BATES AND THEREBY PRECLUDE REIMBURSEMENT. ON THE RECORD, WE FEEL THAT SUCH EXPENSE IS REIMBURSABLE.

THE WRECKER SERVICE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AN EXPENSE OF PREPARING THE TRAILER FOR MOVEMENT NOR TO BE OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY SECTION 9.3A (3) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. THE APPLICABLE TARIFF IS MOBILE HOUSING CARRIERS CONFERENCE, INC; AGENT FREIGHT TARIFF NO. 10-C, MF-I.C.C. NO. 17. RULE 180 OF SUCH TARIFF PERTAINS TO "SPECIAL SERVICE" REFERENCED IN SECTION 9.3A (3) OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. THE WRECKER SERVICE ALTHOUGH INCLUDED WITHIN "ADVANCING CHARGES" UNDER ITEM (D) OF RULE 100 OF FREIGHT TARIFF 10 -C IS NOT INCLUDED IN "SPECIAL SERVICES" UNDER RULE 180 THEREOF. OUR VIEW IS THAT THE WRECKER SERVICE IN THE INSTANT CASE WAS ESSENTIAL TO INITIATE THE TRANSPORTATION MOVEMENT.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND IF OTHERWISE PROPER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.