A Guide to Nerf Bars vs. Running Boards: What’s the Difference?

Tall vehicles are difficult to climb in and out of. So, many of them have running boards. However, some may have nerf bars. If you aren’t sure which is which, you aren’t alone. In fact, these two parts are frequently mixed up. Of course, this means that when it is time to accessorize your truck or SUV, you may be at a loss for which one of these two options to choose.

Nerf Bars

A nerf bar is a type of tubular fixture that runs along the side of the vehicle. It was originally designed for racing; however, today, they are primarily used as steps to make entering and exiting large vehicles easier. Additionally, they are sometimes used for off-road vehicles to push hazards such as branches away from the vehicle body.

The origins of the device are interesting. It was designed to prevent racers from rubbing too dangerously together when they would bump each other (a maneuver called a “nerf’).

Relatively, nerf bars are much more durable than running boards. They also tend to fare better against rain and snow accumulation. However, they need to be wiped down more. They also can be harder to step on due to the tubular shape.

Running Boards

Running boards are positioned very similarly to nerf bars. They also serve a similar purpose as a step. However, they are typically designed flatter and thinner than nerf bars (more like a board). Additionally, many of them have drilled holes or a special textured pattern to make them easier to step on.

Some running boards are designed to be retractable. This is especially common on factory-installed running boards for luxury vehicles. However, others are permanently mounted in place.

The main advantage of running boards is that they are usually less slippery and more secure to step on. Additionally, they make wiping your feet a little easier. However, they are not as durable, making them ill-suited for off-roading. If they aren’t retractable, they can limit the ground clearance of the vehicle.

Photo Source: autoanything.com

How To Choose

So, how do you choose between the best nerf bars and running boards? Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of preference and intended use. If you expect to be doing a lot of off-roading or simply wanted a tougher look, consider getting nerf bars.

Alternatively, if you want a more premium, luxury look or don’t really intend to take your vehicle off-road, then running boards may be the right answer. Both have similar drawbacks in terms of ground clearance. Running boards are a little easier to maintain except in very snowy climates. Think about how you want your truck to look and how much you care about durability.

Order Truck Accessories Today

Getting the right truck accessories can help make your ownership and driving experience better. From pickup bed covers to nerf bars and running boards, a well-sorted truck can be a lot of fun (and very practical). So, consider which accessories will work best for your vehicle today. With the above information and a little searching, you will be ready for the ultimate pickup truck experience.

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