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Nerf Bars & Running Boards

As trucks and SUVs have grown in size and height, the addition of nerf bars and running boards has become common. By adding nerf bars, you can easily step up and into taller vehicles. Nerf bars and running boards also add a finished look to a customized truck or SUV.

What is the difference between nerf bars and running boards?

While they share the similar purpose of providing a stepping space for drivers and passengers entering and exiting the cab of a taller truck or SUV, these two accessories are visually different. A running board is a single-width step that is attached to the lower part of the vehicle's frame, offering a stepping surface for both frontseat and backseat passengers. Nerf bars, made of metal tubing, are attached to the same lower part of the vehicle and offer individual steps beneath each door in a variety of molded-metal-tubing shapes.

What is the weight capacity of nerf bars?

As with any weight-bearing accessory or part, these do have a weight capacity. Side steps with a quality mount made of stainless steel can easily support up to 300 pounds. When you are researching different brands and styles to add to your truck or SUV, be sure to compare weight limits before purchasing.

What are the different styles of nerf bars?

Unlike running boards, which offer a continuous board at the same width from the front doors to the back doors for stepping in and out of a truck or SUV, nerf bars are built with a metal-tubing design. Nerf bar's individual steps are created with metal tubing beneath each door. There are several different styles, including:

  • Oval, which provides a greater stepping surface than a standard round-shaped model.
  • Drop step, which offers steps that hang slightly below the pipe frame.
  • Spring loaded, which retracts and offers a clean look when not in use.
  • Sport tubes, which are a basic cosmetic type that may not support maximum-weight capacities.
Do you need a professional to install nerf bars?

While these can be installed by an auto body professional, they can also be put on at home if you have the right tools. Most trucks and SUVs come with mounting holes already present in the lower part of their frame. If there are no holes, you can measure and drill mounting holes with a drill bit.

To install:

  • Locate the holes on the bottom of the frame of your vehicle.
  • Attach the brackets of your nerf bars to the frame of your vehicle with the included nuts and bolts.
  • Attach the nerf bars to the brackets.
  • Tighten all nuts and bolts until secure.