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W. J. DILLNER TRANSFER CO. v. ICC

April 26, 1961

W. J. DILLNER TRANSFER COMPANY, Heavy-Specialized Carriers Conference Steel City Transport, Inc., Ace-Doran Hauling and Rigging Company, Plaintiffs,
v.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, and United States of America, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCILVAINE

This is an action to enjoin, annul and set aside the report on oral argument and orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission, entered April 10 and September 23, 1959, and January 13, and August 1 and 16, 1960, in Docket No. MC-C-1766, W. J. Dillner Transfer Co. -- Investigation of Operations, wherein the Commission construed Dillner's certificate as a heavy hauler and rigger as not authorizing the transportation of certain bundled articles of iron and steel and palletized firebrick, and ordered it to cease and desist from the performance of such unauthorized operations.

In 1954 certain motor carriers petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, to enter an order investigating certain alleged unlawful practices of W. J. Dillner Transfer Co., hereinafter referred to as Dillner. Thereafter Dillner moved to dismiss this petition and petitioned the Commission for declaratory judgment to clarify its authority.

 In February 1955, the Commission by order instituted an investigation docketed as No. MC-C-1766, W. J. Dillner Transfer Co. -- Investigation of Operations, to determine what commodities can be transported by Dillner and whether it has engaged in operations not authorized by the terms of its certificate. It would appear that under Dillner's certificate Dillner is authorized to engage as a common carrier by motor vehicle in the transportation of: Heavy machinery and such commodities which because of their weight and size require special equipment,

 Between points and places in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on the one hand, and, on the other, points and places in West Virginia, Ohio and New York.

 And by subsequent certificate was authorized to transport such commodities as, because of their weight or size require special equipment,

 Between points and places in Pennsylvania west of U.S. Highway 15, on the one hand, and, on the other, points and places in the southern peninsula of Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York.

 The issue really before the Commission was what commodities may be transported by a motor carrier authorized to transport such commodities which because of their weight and size require special equipment. In attempting to resolve this problem, the hearings were held before an Examiner of the Commission on July 26 through 28, and October 7, 1955. There does not appear to be any complaint about the hearings.

 At the hearings testimony was offered by Dillner. Following the submission of briefs the Examiner filed his proposed report in which he divided the commodities into two groups:

 Group I consisting of steel channels, plates strip, coils of sheet, and rolling-mill rolls, each individual piece of which is of such weight that it cannot be loaded manually, but requires a crane or other special device for loading.

 Group II consisting of steel channels, plates, sheets, bars, rods, pipe, coils, rolling-mill rolls, and firebrick, each individual piece of which is not in excess of the weight and size that can be loaded and unloaded manually, without the use of a crane or other special device, but which as tendered to the carrier are in bundles or packages, or fastened on skids, in such quantity and of such aggregate weight that a crane or other special device is necessary to load the bundles, packages, and skids.

 Exceptions were filed to this report by several of the parties. On October 3, 1956, the entire Commission heard oral arguments. The report of the Commission was entered on April 10, 1959, and is reported at 79 M.C.C. 335. The Commission found:

 '* * * the transportation of the commodities in group 1 (which were loaded and unloaded by the shipper or consignee) by * * * Dillner * * * has been and is authorized by * * * (its) certificates and is lawful * * * and that the transportation by Dillner of commodities in group 2 consisting of steel channels, plates, sheets, bars, rods, pipe, coils, rolling-mill rolls, not required by the inherent nature of the commodity to be bundled ...


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