Adding running boards to your ride is an excellent way to increase the style of your vehicle, as well as providing a bit of assistance when getting into and out of the cab. Running boards are available for trucks, as well as SUVs, of all varieties. How do you know if you are making the right choice? You will find quite a few considerations that need to be made prior to purchasing a set of running boards for your ride.
Pick Your Poison!
Your first decision comes early on in the buying process. You will find two basic types of running boards – plastic boards with metal mounting brackets and plastic boards mounted to an aluminum chassis, or frame. Therefore, your first decision is which type you want for your truck. Here are a few pros and cons to each.
Molded Plastic – Molded plastic running boards are the most affordable solution out there. However, you will find that their maximum weight load is quite low; in fact, some of these are little more than decoration. Of course, if your truck is low enough to the ground that you don’t need that extra step, then these can be viable solutions to your need.
Metal Chassis – Molded plastic boards mounted on a metal chassis offer much more strength and durability than do their plastic only counterparts. However, you will find that these are often quite a bit more expensive.
Find Your Fit
Not all boards fit all vehicles. Therefore, if you have a Ford F-250, you will need to find a set of running boards custom made to fit the vehicle. This ensures that the running boards mount correctly and that they conform to the dimensions of the vehicle. You will find a wide range of manufacturers that create custom running boards to fit Dodge, Chevy, Ford, GMC, Toyota and other truck brands.
As with most other types of truck accessories, the type of mounting hardware used is of great concern. You will find some brands out there that utilize galvanized steel mounting hardware. However, you should consider purchasing a brand that uses stainless steel hardware. Galvanized steel hardware is durable, but after a couple of years out in the weather, it will begin to show signs of corrosion. Stainless steel lasts much longer and is therefore a better investment.
Can You Install Them?
The final question that you must ask yourself concerning any set of boards is whether or not you can install them on your own. Some will require that you remove the mudguards in order to install the boards, while other types stop short of the mudguards. Some brands can be successfully installed with the vehicle resting on the ground, while others will require that you put it on a vehicle lift. Professional installation is a great option, but it will certainly increase the cost of your boards and should be taken into consideration.
A Note Concerning UV Resistance
Running boards are made of high quality plastic. However, while the plastic is certainly durable, UV light can cause damage quite easily. You should ensure that the set you purchase is UV resistant, sometimes denoted as UV stable. This will help make sure that your running boards look great and hold up under real use for a longer period.
Slip Resistant Pads
One final concern should be the presence of slip resistant pads mounted to the running boards. These should be located directly below the doors and provide a bit of assurance against slipping on the plastic surface when it is wet.