Side steps, side bars, running boards, nerf bars – the truck accessory that mounts beneath your rocker panels may go by a few different names, but they all do the same thing – provide a safe and easy way to step into and out of your truck.
They also protect your truck from rock and gravel chips, give you a spot to knock mud off your boots, and provide easier access to the roof of your truck. However, there are a few main differences among all these products.
What’s the Difference Between Running Boards and Nerf Bars?
Running boards typically run the length of the vehicle’s cabin. The “board” terminology refers to their flat, rectangular shape. This allows them to be mounted closer to the truck for better protection and ground clearance. In addition, they provide a stepping surface along their entire length of the board. This feature is great when loading items on the roof.
Nerf bars and side bars are typically round. These accessories can extend the length of the truck cab or just the length of the door. These accessories have designated step areas on the bar with traction pads, unlike running boards, which have a stepping surface along their entire length. Nerf bars and side bars stick out a little further and lower than running boards, which makes them easier to use but more susceptible to damage when off-roading.
Running Boards vs Rock Sliders
Although they’re similar in appearance, nerf bars and running boards should never be confused with rock sliders. Rock sliders are a structural element attached to your truck’s frame and are built to withstand severe abuse.
Rock sliders protect the truck body from damage when rock-crawling and off roading, which is why they are typically only necessary for serious 4x4 enthusiasts. Since they need to support the weight of the truck, they’re much more heavy-duty than nerf bars or running boards.
Rock sliders can either be bolted or welded in place and are typically custom fit for the vehicle make and model. Since they are weight-bearing, rock sliders can also be used as a recovery point for hi-lo jacks or a place to jack up the vehicle when changing a tire on uneven terrain.
Rock sliders are typically mounted almost flush to the vehicle’s body to increase ground clearance, and some models can also be used as steps. While running boards, side steps, and nerf bars can protect your truck from light rock damage, you should never count on them to prevent damage to the body of your truck when rock crawling.
Truck Side Steps Near You
LINE-X® truck steps and step bars provide a safe and easy way to get in and out of your truck. Since they all carry a lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that if something goes wrong, we’ll make it right.
Contact your local LINE-X dealer to explore step bar options for your truck.