Running Boards: Style, Functionality, and Convenience for Your Vehicle
Running boards, also known as step bars or side steps, are a popular automotive accessory that offers both style and practicality to your vehicle. These sleek and functional additions provide a stepping platform for easier access to your vehicle's cabin and can also enhance its appearance. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore running boards, their various types, benefits, and how to choose the right ones for your vehicle.
Types of Running Boards:
Nerf Bars: Nerf bars are round or oval-shaped tubes that run along the sides of your vehicle. They offer a classic and simple look while providing a sturdy stepping surface.
Step Bars: Step bars are similar to nerf bars but are typically narrower and have a flatter, wider stepping surface. They are available in various designs, including oval, square, and more.
Power Running Boards: Power running boards are advanced, retractable step bars that extend automatically when the vehicle doors are opened and retract when the doors are closed. They offer a streamlined appearance and convenience.
Rock Sliders: Rock sliders are heavy-duty running boards designed for off-road vehicles. They are built to withstand rugged terrain and protect the vehicle's sides from rocks and debris.
Cab-Length vs. Wheel-to-Wheel: Running boards can vary in length, with some covering just the area near the cab, while others extend to the rear wheel well, providing a longer stepping surface.
Benefits of Running Boards:
Ease of Entry and Exit: Running boards provide a stable and secure platform for passengers to step on when entering or exiting the vehicle, making it easier, especially for taller vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
Protection: Running boards act as a barrier, shielding the sides of your vehicle from rocks, debris, and road grime that could cause paint damage.
Style Enhancement: Running boards come in various designs, finishes, and materials, allowing you to customize your vehicle's appearance and give it a distinctive look.
Added Functionality: In addition to serving as steps, running boards can also act as a handy platform for securing cargo or reaching roof-mounted accessories.
Safety: The non-slip surface on many running boards provides added safety, preventing slips and falls in wet or icy conditions.
Choosing the Right Running Boards:
Vehicle Compatibility: Ensure that the running boards you choose are compatible with your vehicle's make, model, and year. Custom-fit options are often available for specific vehicles.
Material: Running boards are typically made from materials like aluminum, stainless steel, or molded plastic. Consider the material that suits your preferences and complements your vehicle's style.
Design and Finish: Select a design and finish that matches your vehicle's aesthetics and suits your personal taste, whether it's a polished stainless steel, matte black, or chrome finish.
Length: Decide whether you want cab-length running boards or ones that extend to the rear wheel well, based on your needs and preferences.
Installation: Consider whether you prefer running boards that require professional installation or ones that you can install yourself. Some models come with easy-to-follow instructions for DIY installation.
Budget: Running boards are available at various price points. Set a budget and look for options that fit within it while considering quality and features.
Running boards are a stylish and practical addition to your vehicle, offering ease of entry and exit, protection, and an enhanced appearance. By understanding the different types of running boards, their benefits, and the factors to consider when choosing them, you can make an informed decision that not only adds convenience but also complements your vehicle's overall look. Whether you're driving a truck, SUV, or any other vehicle, well-chosen running boards are an investment that adds both style and functionality to your ride.