It's Nerf Or Nothing! What You Should Know About Nerf Bars & Side Steps

by Daniel Cruse - Date: 2010-05-19 - Word Count: 467 Share This!

With slushy ice, mucky mud and loose gravel stuck to your shoes, climbing in and out of your vehicle can be treacherous. And if that first step is a big one, as is often the case with many SUVs and trucks, the risk-factor increases exponentially. A nerf bar or side step allows you to cut the distance (and ensuing risk) in half.

Nerf bars are known by a number of names including step bars, side steps and running boards, but a mandrel-bent bar by any other name is still a sturdy step for scaling your rig. Made for the most popular trucks and SUVs, they come in varying cab sizes and are basically bent metal tubes that are sealed against the elements and finished with a chrome, polished stainless steel or black powder coating. Step bars are forged from durable aluminum or stainless steel and feature treaded pads to provide a non-slip surface for stepping in and out of your cab, channeling water away from the stepping area. And with truck nerf bars supporting up to 300 lbs and running boards up to 500 lbs, each provides the strength and durability required for heavy-duty use.

Think of them as a set of orange cones around your vehicle. They cover the width of your truck or SUV, extending wheel-to-wheel, and create a buffer that stops carelessly-flung car doors before they connect and leave the inevitable dent or paint transfer. Similar to a shopping cart holder or cement post, people will think twice before letting their doors fly into a solid-looking set of truck nerf bars.

Custom manufactured to your make model and year, truck nerf bars and running boards, like the Toyota running board, Acura MDX running board and Ford running boards, come with custom mounting hardware and attach directly into factory-drilled holes in your frame—no need to dust off your Makita to install these babies.

While the construction of the nerf bars is extremely important, the materials used to forge the mounting brackets, nuts, bolts and washers is also a big consideration when purchasing your kit. Many manufacturers will use high carbon steel with a coating of black paint over the top for the mounting hardware. Many prefer these parts as they blend into the exterior. However this option isn't always the best for lasting durability. The hardware will be constantly exposed to the elements, such as rain, salt and loose gravel, and will take considerable punishment from the acidic sludge that often results as a combination of these things. Over time, this corrosion will eat through the metal, weakening the mounting hardware and paving the way for some pretty serious problems down the road.

When you compare models, select one that supplies mounting hardware constructed of stainless steel. It won't be susceptible to corrosion, providing the highest return on your investment.

Related Tags: toyota running board, ford running boards

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