Truck accessories can serve any purpose from increased convenience to demonstrating your personal style. When you're shopping for a running board or retractable step, you should take both appearance and function into account.
Choosing a top priority (whether that's accessibility, convenience, or style) can help you narrow down your options early on in the process. But since the same step can serve several different purposes, it shouldn't be too hard to find a multifunctional option that customizes your truck with personal style while simultaneously increasing convenience and accessibility.
Use these four questions to help you decide between a running board (or nerf board) and a retractable step, and to choose the best one for your vehicle.
1. How Far From the Ground Do You Want the Step?
If your truck is a normal height, a standard running bar or nerf bar may be all that's needed to help you climb up. But if you have an extreme off-road truck or one with a lifted suspension, you may need something that is a little lower in order to reach the step from the ground.
Retractable steps can work best if you're looking for an easy-to-access step that helps you get into a very high truck cab. On the other hand, if only tall, athletic people typically ride in the car, you may not really need the additional convenience even with a lifted suspension.
2. Is Accessibility or Ground Clearance Your First Priority?
Adding a running bar can be a good all-around option to improve accessibility, but retractable steps offer benefits such as a lower ground step, which can be very helpful if you have children in your family. A retractable step can also avoid losing precious inches of ground clearance that you gain from a raised suspension.
If accessibility is your first priority, look for a running board or step that sticks out more and offers plenty of traction. On the other hand, if your truck is a dual-purpose vehicle that you use both for fun off-roading adventures and for taking your kids to school, a middle-of-the-road option is probably your best bet.
3. Do you Prefer Adjustability or a Consistent Height?
There's something to be said for an adjustable step or one that can raise and lower automatically to help you ascend and descend. Retractable truck steps can automatically raise and lower depending on whether you're driving or loading and unloading. Adjustable options are available in both truck step and running board categories.
On the other hand, some truck drivers prefer a standardized step that's simply always there and doesn't have an electrical component or moving parts. If that sounds like you, a fixed running board may be your style.
4. What Silhouette Are You Aiming for?
A wheel-to-wheel step that's integrated with your wheel openings can give a sleek, streamlined look. This alternative avoids the appearance of an extra accessory while still providing the functionality you need. On the other hand, if you prefer a flashy style, you may opt for a more prominent running board with multicolored lights.
These four questions can help you brainstorm your priorities and your goals for your truck, making it easier to decide between the myriad of options and choices you're faced with when shopping for truck accessories. Whether you have a family truck and your kids ride in the back seats daily or whether it's an off-roader, you'll be able to find just the step or bar you need.
For more information about the running bars and nerf bars that we sell or to learn more about our other truck accessory products, feel free to browse the rest of our website and our blog. And don't hesitate to reach out via phone or using our website form if you'd like to discuss your truck accessory needs.