Stuff an emotional-support animal in the cupholder | Pallet hoarders' potential big break

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picture of a riderz stuffed animal
How's this for a ridealong pet?

With diesel prices high, rates dropping and onerous regs like speed limiters and electronic IDs out on the horizon, it can feel like the trucking business is under attack. Luckily, at least one company has your interests at heart -- Riderz proposes drivers get stuffed animals that fit inside cup holders. They're pretty cute, right?

"Animals, whether they are stuffed or alive, are found to significantly reduce stress, and one study found that more than 40% of adults still admit to owning or sleeping with a stuffed animal," the company told Overdrive. They went on to cite a Truckstop.com poll as finding 56% of pro operators surveyed as already riding with a pet for "emotional support and companionship."

Furthermore, Riderz argues that normal relaxation gear (weighted blankets, sun lamps) don't fit in with the trucking lifestyle. Cup-holder stuffed animals, well. .... Why not? 

Online marketplace for pallets opens

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Got pallets? The "lowly, disrespected wooden pallet finally gets its tech due" with PalletTrader.com, a newly formed marketplace that works similarly to a trucking load board for buying and selling pallets. 

After supply chain hiccups in the early pandemic caused a rare pallet shortage, the often-overlooked white-wood footing of so much of the trucking industry is finally getting its own online marketplace.

“It’s much like in the trucking world where brokers and shippers use online load boards to match available trucks with freight,” said John Vaccaro, president of PalletTrader.com owner Bettaway Supply Chain Services. “We are bringing the convenience and efficiency of online commerce technology to the world of pallets. And we are providing a common set of tools and processes that can be shared by everyone to manage and optimize pallet inventory as a renewable asset, not discarded as a throw-away piece of wood.”

Vaccaro estimated that more than 500 million "one-way" wooden pallets circulate around the country in a $7 billion market. Currently, more than 1,500 pallet depots, mostly independent businesses, "could have as few as five or as many as 1,000 customers," and that a pallet goes for anywhere between $7 and $25 a pop, depending on demand and condition. 

PalletTrader is offering a free trial of the website, but will later charge a subscription fee. Additionally, the website will take a small slice of each sale.

Time to start pocketing those spare pallets after delivering a load? A quick search of my local Facebook Marketplace shows that people are, indeed, giving these things away. But for anyone with a hoarding instinct and a shed full of them, maybe this is your big break. 

[Related: Kardashians crash a truck stop | Food industry needs diesel emissions]

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