For those out there who do real work with their trucks, you know having the right tool for the job is paramount. Even tiny quality of life improvements add up to making a hard working day just that much easier. An extra step up into your truck may not seem like one of those necessity items, but once you have a good set of nerf bars or running boards, it’s hard to go back.
For instance, I resisted buying a set of ratcheting box wrenches for the longest time because I just didn’t see them as being completely necessary for how expensive they were. That is until I was working on my car at a buddy’s house who had a nice set, and it completely changed my mind. I went out and bought a set after that and haven’t looked back. Sometimes these little improvements make a bigger difference than you might think.
So with that said, let’s get into these:
The Best Nerf Bars and Side Steps for Your Work Truck:
Luverne Grip Step Running Boards:
Everything about these steps is made to put function over form. Built from lightweight, tough 5052-H32 aluminum with a generous 7″ wide stepping surface, these running boards offer tons of grip no matter how wet and muddy they get. Just check out how the gripping “cleats” that are stamped to shape. You can tell right there that these will provide more grip than almost anything else in the market, and give you something to scrape your boots on before climbing into your truck.
Plus, with the option of a cab-length or wheel-to-wheel versions, you have versatility in having wider step options to be able to step up to grab things out of your truck bed, or to save a few bucks and just get the cab-length version to just help yourself and your passengers into the cab. The other added advantage of these steps being made out of aluminum is that rust isn’t going to be a worry for any wear surface. Only the out of the way brackets are steel, where the paint is much safer.
N-Fab Nerf Steps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq-VgOaTXso
There isn’t much you could want from a set of steps that N-Fab doesn’t check off here. Consistent quality, more than fair prices, and well built steps that give you plenty of solid grip, and make something for just about everyone. Seriously, they have options for trucks going back to the 1970s!
Made from welded steel tubing with a 3-inch main tube diameter with a 0.084” wall, and zinc coated underneath the black finish for extra corrosion protection. They’re ideal for just about any stock or lifted truck or SUV, and are weight-tested at 465 lbs, so you know they can hang tough for the long haul.
Ranch Hand Running Steps:
Tough looks and even tougher stability all in one solid set of side drop steps. Sporting a black powder coating, these running steps provide ample stepping surface and are built to last with ultra-strong 12-gauge steel.
They’re available in a variety of lengths, and in either four or six step designs. Also, everything Ranch Hand puts out is made in America, and these beefy steps feature their standard 1-year warranty.
AMP Research Power Step Running Boards:
These steps appear when you need them, and then are completely hidden when you don’t! These running boards extend and retract with your door opening and closing. At one moment you have a secure stepping point, and then they immediately tuck themselves away into a concealed pocket once your doors close.
Constructed from strong and lightweight aluminum, the Power Steps offer a wide, flat, stepping surface to make getting in and out easy. Plus, they can hold up to 600 lbs, feature a 10-12″ wide stepping surface, and have been tested to work in temperatures ranging from -40°F to 200°F. Crazy, right?
Westin R5 5″ Nerf Steps:
The R5 represents probably the most modern take on a set of “classic” style nerf bars with more angular features than is typical for the category. With 5″ wide bars, and big injection molded food pads, You’d be hard pressed to find another nerf bar that offers the grip these feature (though stay tuned for a running board that takes the crown in further down).
These are a little more expensive than some of the others in the category, even twice as much as our next featured set, but you really do get what you pay for, and a lifetime warranty on the stainless models to back up those quality claims.
AutoAnything SELECT 3″ Round Nerf Bars:
Representing the real classic nerf bar look is also the most affordable option on the list. Don’t let the low cost turn you off from this as an option though, this is a tried and true design, and any R&D cost has long since been paid for, given how long this design has been around.
You can have them in your choice of black powdercoat or T304 stainless steel, both feature molded pads for plenty of grip, and every set is custom designed for your truck or SUV specifically, so you don’t have to worry about drilling or cutting holes to get these installed.
Romik REC Running Boards:
Bringing European design over here to the US, and bringing with them a solid reputation for solid steps that have seen tons of use on work vehicles all over the place across the pond. The REC boards are built with tough aircraft grade aluminum that are made to last, and each set comes with custom made brackets specific to your vehicle to ensure and easy, no-drill fit.
Available in polished aluminum or a black anodized finish to match the look you’ve already got going on for your vehicle. With a 5.5″ wide non-skid stepping surface and a 300lbs weight capacity, these running boards are ready to help you get stuff done.
Westin HDX Xtreme Nerf Steps:
Yes, they are absolutely as tough as they look. These one piece steel steps feature oversized no-slip step pads made from UV resistant polymer, no drill installation with brackets designed specifically for your vehicle, and a seriously impressive 3-year warranty on the textured black powder coating and a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel versions.
Modeled to match Westin’s line of other tough HDX accessories, like their front and rear bumpers, LED grilles, grille guards, and overhead racks, you have access to just about all the exterior protection you could need, and more steel than you can shake a driveshaft at.
Aries 4″ Big Step Round Nerf Bars:
These look pretty beefy don’t they? Well believe it or not, these might just be the lightest nerf bars on this list, and some of the toughest as well. With beefy 4″ round tubing, and a raised step pad, these steps will provide plenty of grip and last the test of time.
Since the tubing is made out of all aluminum, rust won’t be a concern if they get dinged up a little, and with a 300lbs capacity, you’re completely set with a tough set of steps.
Go Rhino RB20 Running Boards:
Wrought from beefy 16-gauge zinc-coated steel, these running boards are absolutely as tough as they look (and they look pretty tough). The thick powder coating makes sure you always have plenty of grip when climbing in and out of your rig, and can these bars can take hits better than your body work can.
With easy, no-drill installation you’ll get your running boards bolted up and be ready to rock in no time. Plus the construction and finish are covered by a 5-year warranty. A solid choice for construction sites where you never know what can reach out and gouge the side of your truck.