Choosing The Best Running Boards and Tube Steps

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Choosing The Best Running Boards and Tube Steps


Today we're to be taking a look at the different types of trucks steps that we have available. Basically we're going to talk about the strengths of them. We're going to take a look at each different style and help you to figure out which application they're going to be best suited for. Now, generally, when our customers call us about steps, they're looking for one of three reasons. Either they want it to be easier to get in and out of the truck. Of course, that's the main purpose of most of these steps here.

The second is going to be appearance. They want to increase the looks of their vehicle and a nice set of steps can really make a truck look nice and third is going to be protection. There's a lot more off roading that's going on, so those rocker steps, really a good idea to give you some protection.Now, there've been a lot of advancements as far as tube steps, running boards and things like that are concerned. Back in the day, it used to be one of those cases where if you got a set of tube steps, they'd last a little while, then they'd start rusting out on the bottom, or if you get a set of running boards, you we're pretty much left with the one option of those aluminum tread plate looking boards that we're just kind of flat and plain looking, so overall with the new materials that they're making them out of, the new finishes they're putting on, and the new designs they're coming up with, you can really pick a set of steps that's very appealing to you. It's going to last for a very long time.Now the tube steps that we have, some people call them nerf bars.

They're really an extremely, extremely, extremely popular line. A lot of people like the looks of these. The way they fit their truck. Now, the older style would have been just like a three inch round tube. Generally it just had a piece of rubber stuck to the top of it and really you'd slide off of those quite often if your boots we're wet.

The newer style, we do have three inch available, four inch, five inch. This happens to be from west end. This is the protrax five, really nice wide tube step. This is kind of an oval. Some of them you'd call them round and most all of these have really improved the area where you put your foot down.

I like this a lot. It gives you good traction. You don't have to worry about slipping and sliding if you get into a little bit of mud, a little bit of rain or something like that.These and most of the steps that we're going to look at today are available in, this will be like a polished stainless steel. Some of them will be aluminum. You can even get like a black powder coat finish, so depending on how you want your truck to look, there is going to be a tube step or nerf bar out there that will fit your application and serve your purpose really well. These are going to be great for getting in and out of the vehicle. These are going to be great for increasing the appearance, but it is a material that's not really gonna work out very well for rocker protection. If you lay your truck over on a rock and it comes up and hits these likely you're going to have damage. Now, the reason these tube steps are so much better than they used to be, of course they're using better material. It's not just chrome over steel. But they've also completely sealed the ends and that's something I would recommend that you look for in a tube step. This will keep moisture from getting in there. That's what caused that rust and corrosion back in the day. They just had a black plastic cap that was in there.Once the water got in, it was just a matter of time at that point. These seem to be really, really popular on pickup trucks just because they give you a nice clean look. You'll also see these being installed on SUVs. However, the running boards tend to be a more popular choice for SUV owners. These are going to give you more of a clean factory style look, more of a board where it's going to kind of come up and meet the underside of the vehicle. Don't get me wrong, we put these on a lot of trucks too, but it seems like the SUVs tend to like that slightly more finished look than what we get out of the tube steps.Now, these just like the tube steps are going to be available in a lot of different varieties of the color, the finish that you want on them. Also what your tread plates are going to look like, but again, like our tube steps, nice deep grooves in most of these, these happened to be from DZ. So as you're stepping on them, you're going to get good traction out of them. Now the next ones we're going to talk about are gonna be the rocker protection style of step. Now this one happens to be for a Jeep Wrangler. This is one that can tuck right up against the bottom of the tub of the jeep, and then when you want to use it, you just stepped down on it. It goes and deploys to give us that step in and out. Now these are going to come in a lot of different varieties. They add accessibility. They do a great job sometimes of adding looks. This tube style you'll see on a lot of jeeps, it kind of makes them stand out. There's a lot of Jeeps on the road, so adding a few accessories can make yours stand out versus other ones.They do a great job in that rocker protection, so when we get off road, we get leaned over. Instead of our tub taking damage, we'll just wind up putting a few scratches on these. Which can really be helpful. These are also available in the more blocky metal style. Those will be more of a full length, kind of rocker protection. You'll have all the way under, let's say the cab of your F250 or something, and then they're going to have the little drop downs. Those drop downs are going to be positioned right underneath your door, aid you in getting in and out, so these are really good about really hitting all three of the things we're looking for. If you like the looks of them, they're going to increase looks. Definitely good with accessibility. That gives us a lot of protection as well.Now in the same family of running boards, we also have the real heavy duty style. You can see here, this is a nice heavy duty steel piece. This is going to be ideal for people that often have a lot of mud on their boots. It's open, so any mud that does get on there is likely to fall down and through. I really think these are going to be handy for construction use, a lot of outdoor use that way, with this running board that we've got here above it. If we get some mud on here, of course it's going to hang there until it's washed away. Whereas with this it has more of a chance of just falling down through, not staying on our board. Now these are also going to offer you more of a rugged, more utilitarian style look than what we get out of the more clean factory looking running boards that we have here on the top.Now again, something similar with our running boards styles to the tube step is that these are really good for accessibility and really good for looks, but you're not getting the rocker protection. If you lay one of these over against a rock, it's probably going to get damaged. Now another type of step available is what they call a hoop step. Now these would be installed directly under the door. They don't give you the full cab coverage like what we get out of the other ones, but they do tend to be a little bit more cost effective and if you're looking for a nostalgic look, they can be a really good solution. These are available in multiple different colors. Whether you want the matte black, maybe you want to gloss black, maybe one in aluminum and as you can see here on our foot plate, they've got good texture there, so as we step on them, they have a good chance of getting good traction to get in and out. Now, this type of step I think is going to be excellent, of course, for the accessibility. Being able to get in, being able to get out of your vehicle.As far as looks go, they're not my favorite, but beauty is kind of in the eye of the beholder. If you like this style, and like this look, well, it's a great step for you. As far as rocker protection, of course there's not even full coverage, so we're not getting a whole lot there. Now the last one we're going to talk about, while it doesn't act as a step for getting in and out of your truck, it really helps out a lot when it comes to getting in and out of the bed of your truck or at least gaining access to the bed of your truck. This one happens to be from best top. There's several different ones available and basically it's designed to, when not in use, this is going to be mounted right up underneath your vehicle. It's going to be tucked up underneath your truck. When you're ready to use it, you just put your toe on it there, bring it down. It's going to give us a step. This can be just behind the cab of your truck so you can get up into a toolbox. You can get over into the front portion of the bed. These can be mounted closer to the back to help you get up onto your tailgate and stuff like that.So it gives you a good drop down. Generally, unless your trucks lifted of course, you're going to be able to easily step up onto this. Then get in the bed of the truck or easily step onto this to reach whatever it is in the bed of the truck you might need. It can be mounted on the driver's side or passenger side. We've mounted a few of these on a guy that does a lot of construction for us here, and he's really pleased with them. He likes the way they work. He likes having that additional accessibility, so while it's not exactly a running board, a tube step or something like that to help you, it will give you the accessibility that you're looking for there in the back of the pickup.Now, one thing you want to be sure to do is enter your vehicle information in the cit guide, so year, make, model, cab size is going to make a difference whether you're a regular cab or quad cab or in between. Be sure to get that information input and it's only going to bring up selections that are going to work for your application. Basically, with a custom fit kit, you're not going to have a bunch of modifications to do. You're not going to be drilling a bunch of holes or welding brackets on trying to make it work. It's meant to bolt up for your vehicle into a lot of the holes that already exist so there's not a whole lot of guess work or kind of troubleshooting that goes on to get them installed and these are really good option.It can save you a lot of money versus going to the dealer. You're going to pay higher labor rates there. These are really not that difficult to get installed regardless of which one you pick and you're going to get more options. You can pick the size, you can pick the shape that you want. You can pick the color that you want.


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