Running Boards: Provide a Wider Stepping Surface and Make Your Pickup Truck More Convenient
The number of pickup trucks bought every year increases substantially as we move towards a future with bigger vehicles. But why is that so? Although pickup trucks used to only be useful for towing and off-roading, today’s pickup trucks are much more than just rugged vehicles. They are more versatile than ever and they are a lot safer than they used to be.
You can still use them for towing, and you can rely on a pickup truck when camping or just running errands around town. Pickup trucks look a lot more stylish than they used to and one accessory that has helped in that department is the running board. Running boards help increase the safety of your pickup truck since they make exiting and entering it a lot easier while protecting the side door panels. You can easily improve the convenience of your truck just as you would improve its performance.
How Do I Choose the Right Running Board?
To find the most fitting truck running boards you should first consider the material they’re made of. The majority of running boards are made of either stainless steel or aluminium but there are also some made from moulded plastic. The strongest pickup side steps are made of stainless steel. They provide the best level of support but they also weigh the most. But when you have a pickup truck adding a little bit of weight to it to make it more appealing and convenient isn’t something you’ll care about.
Aluminium side running boards are lighter than steel but they are also not as impact resistant. What makes aluminium running boards more favourable is their corrosion resistance which is naturally found on the material. Stainless steel running boards need to be treated to be corrosion resistant. Moulded plastic running boards are the lightest but also the frailest running boards there are. This makes them the most affordable too.
While the weight of the running boards won’t be of any concern for your already heavy vehicle, their weight capacity should. Why? Because if you get a pair of truck running boards with a low weight capacity then they won’t be able to bear your weight and the weight of your mates for a long time. You’ll end up getting a new pair in no time. Usually, most running boards come with a weight capacity of around 130 kg but some heavy-duty boards have a weight capacity of up to 220 kg.
Although stainless steel running boards will require a coating to have better corrosion resistance, every type of running board requires a finish. This finish can either prolong the lifespan of the running boards or offer protection from UV rays or provide a sturdy platform to step on to. To keep yourself safe from slipping on the running boards make sure you get a pair with a rubber surface as it provides grip.
Length and Width
A compatible pair of running boards will serve you best. No matter the padding material or protective coating they have if they don’t fit the cab of your pickup truck they won’t be useful. Just make sure they fit the length of the cab and that they provide a wide enough surface for you to put your feet onto.
Electric vs Standard
There are two types of side running boards you can get either fixed (standard) or retractable (electric) the latter is more convenient since they go away on their own when you close the door and then show up when you open a door. Fixed running boards are more reliable since they are there for you to step on with or without power.
The installation process of running boards is roughly the same no matter the size and type of running boards you go for. What you should be looking for is how easy it is to install a pair of running boards. Some truck running boards will require some heavy welding and others will require installing some brackets and attaching the boards to them.
Types of Running Boards
A nerf bar’s main function is to protect the undercarriage. In order to be used as a stepping platform, you need to get nerf bars with a non-slip surface since they are not flat at the top. Nerf bars will make your pickup truck look sportier though
A side step is much like a running board since its main goal is to provide a safe stepping platform. But with pickup side steps although you do get a convenient solution, because they are quite smaller they are not as protective. You also have to get more than just two, if you want to provide a stepping platform for all four doors. Keep in mind you do get a more versatile solution here since you can place a side step anywhere along the length of the cab.