I reported to work yesterday morning with 9.73 DOT hours remaining and approximately 13 hours worth of rural deliveries to do. Forseeing this, I had begging all week for permission to start "rolling" single ground stops and to disregard misloads in order to conserve DOT hours, but permission was denied. As a result, I was put into a position yesterday where I was forced to perform "triage" and choose which customers would get their packages and which customers wouldnt. I wound up bringing 39 missed stops back in order to not violate DOT. In the medical field, "triage" refers to the prioritization of limited medical resources. Those with serious but treatable wounds are given first priority; those with less serious wounds are next in line; and those who cannot be saved anyway are given a slug of morphine and allowed to die, rather than having resources wasted upon them. How does everyone else triage? I focused on pickups first, premium service packages second, oversized packages third (so I wont have to fight them on Monday) perishables fourth, and pretty much everything else got hind tit. I probably could have gotten an 5 extra stops done if I had not made distinctions between ground and premium service, but lacking any sort of clear instructions from my management I chose to make ground my lowest priority. It was a lousy day and a lousy way to have to do business.