If you are into trucks, you likely know that many owners install either truck nerf bars or running boards along the sides. These items both serve similar purposes: they make it easier to step into your truck and protect the sides of the body. However, they look very different and have different strengths and weaknesses. How can you decide which is right for you?
Nerf bars are a side-mounted step that, as the name suggests, have a relatively beefy construction. There are a few different styles, but most of them are hollow tubes with round, ovular or rectangular profiles. The tube may either have depressions in it or welded steps.
No matter what the exact construction of the nerf bar is, one thing remains the same: they look tough and live up to their looks. Nerf bars make getting into and out of your truck much easier, especially if it is relatively high. They are also very durable when put up against mud, debris, branches and other hazards that you may run into on the trail.
Typically, nerf bars are most popular with off-roaders. They are well-designed for handling the rigors of the great outdoors but do not exactly scream “luxury.”
Running boards serve also the exact same purpose as nerf bars. They make it easier for people to get into the truck. As trucks and SUVs have gotten taller over the past couple of decades, this has become increasingly important, especially for shorter passengers.
Unlike nerf bars, however, running boards are intended as a more premium option. They serve less of a protective function and look a lot more at home mounted on higher-end, luxury vehicles. Some running boards are even designed to retract under the vehicle while in motion, creating a more aerodynamic profile.
Generally, running boards do less well in extreme weather because they have a greater surface area to get dirty. However, many people find them more comfortable and more stable to use.
Picking the Right Option
Ultimately, the choice between nerf bars and running boards is mostly a matter of personal preference. If you have a luxury truck with custom floor mats and the works, you may be more interested in running board. If you are building out the ultimate off-roader, you will probably want nerf bars.
For most truck owners, the performance difference between nerf bars versus running boards is marginal. Even off-road, running boards offer most of the protection of nerf bars, especially some of the more rugged designs. Nonetheless, if you want the best of the best in trail readiness, you should go with nerf bars. For the ultimate in sleekness, pick running boards.
Order Your Truck Modifications and Accessories Today
Whether you want nerf bars, running boards or another accessory, place your order today. Consider grabbing some brakes for cars while you are at it. When you customize your truck to be exactly the way you want it, you will get an even better ownership experience. There is nothing quite like hitting the road or trail for the first time after a new modification.