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7 Best Running Boards for Trucks and How to Add Them

Trucks are getting taller and taller, but most of us are not, thus the need for a step assist to get into taller vehicles. Running boards are the perfect option to help you get into that tall vehicle. Running boards for trucks are more than just an easy step in and out of the vehicle. They also provide added protection both inside and out. Let’s look at why you should consider adding running boards if they aren’t already installed. Let’s dive in!

What Are Running Boards for Trucks?

Some vehicles have a higher ground clearance than others. These taller vehicles are harder to get into for shorter passengers. Running boards provide a step to help passengers get into the vehicle more easily. They attach below the truck’s doors to its frame. Some are automatic and extend from the vehicle electronically when the door opens. Others remain in place and never move.

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What Are the Benefits of Running Boards for Trucks?

The main function of running boards for trucks is to aid passengers who might need a little help getting into the vehicle. Another benefit is they help keep the interior of the truck clean. Passengers can wipe off their shoes before stepping into the truck, thus keeping dirt on the outside of the vehicle.

Running boards can also protect the body of the truck from debris kicked up by the tires. Instead of rocks and gravel denting the doors and side panels, they deflect this debris and protect the truck from scratches and damage.

Some running boards can also act as rock sliders or nerf bars to protect the bodywork of the vehicle from rocks or other off-road hazards.

Close up of a truck with running boards installed.
Make entering and exiting your truck easier by installing running boards.

Will Running Boards Affect Gas Mileage?

Because running boards increase wind resistance and reduce airflow along the sides and bottom of the truck, they might affect gas mileage. But it’s very minimal. It’s not enough of a concern for an owner to avoid adding running boards to their truck. They also add weight, which can decrease MPG, but again, it probably won’t even be noticeable.

How Much Does It Cost to Add Running Boards to a Truck?

Because there are so many different types of running boards for trucks, there’s a huge price range. You can find cheaper ones for a couple hundred bucks or spend a couple thousand on top-quality ones. You could also create custom running boards with sensors or choose a custom color to match your vehicle. Once you know your budget, you can pick and choose from several options that fit within your budget and still meet your expectations.

Pro Tip: Ever find yourself wondering What Mods Should I Do to My Truck First? We uncovered where to start when upgrading your truck.

Black GMC truck with running boards installed
Running boards are available in a wide range of materials, colors and price points.

How to Add Running Boards to a Truck

First, install the bolt plate securely onto the frame with the factory holes. Sometimes you have to drill holes, but manufacturers often have pre-drilled holes in the frame for the attachment of running boards. Install the front brackets first and then the rear. Depending on your truck’s make, model, and year, there may also be center brackets to install.

With the threaded side face down, place one running board on the brackets so that the board bolts align with bracket slots. Use the provided hardware after feeding the bolts through the slots. Tighten all of the brackets and board bolts when installation is complete.

7 Best Running Boards for Trucks

Below are seven great options for running boards. They vary in price and are great investments that may also help resale value down the road.

#1. AMP Research PowerStep

About: These PowerStep running boards automatically extend and retract when you open and close the door. They also feature LED lighting to help passengers see the steps at night. In addition, the durable, textured finish resists corrosion, wear and tear, and prevents slipping. AMP Research provides a five-year/60,000-mile warranty.

Starting Price: $1,099

Sale
AMP Research 76254-01A PowerStep Electric Running...
  • Your purchase includes One pack of two AMP Research PowerStep...
  • Compatible Vehicles – 2019/2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew or...
  • Weight capacity – 600 lbs. each side | Drop – 6”

#2. AMP Research PowerStep XL

About: Like the PowerStep mentioned above, the PowerStep XL model is automatic and eclectic-powered, features LED lighting, and has a durable anodized and PTFE coated military-spec finish. In addition, the PowerStep XL offers a 3-inch lower stepping surface for lifted trucks or SUVs. The rail comprises 6063 Marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel pivot pins that support 600 pounds.

Starting Price: $2,099

AMP Research 77132-01A PowerStep XL Electric...
  • Provides a 3" lower stepping surface than the original PowerStep...
  • Automatic, electric-powered running boards instantly extend when...
  • High-texture, powder coated finish for maximum grip and...
Silver truck with silver running boards parked at campsite.
Investing in running boards is a wise choice for your truck.

#3. Steelcraft STX600 Running Boards

About: These black Steelcraft STX600 running boards for trucks feature a heavy-duty, 14-gauge stamped carbon steel deck for increased durability. To protect from corrosion and rust, they’re also fully e-coated. The tracking mounting system allows the running boards to be installed in multiple positions. Steelcraft provides a limited three-year warranty.

Starting Price: $194.20 (on Amazon)

Steelcraft 600-12460 STX600 Series Running Boards...
  • Made out of 14-gauge stamped carbon steel
  • No-drilling required on most applications
  • Resists rust & corrosion

#4. Dee Zee Rough Step Running Boards

About: The heavy-duty grated steel design gives these Dee Zee running boards a tough-guy, rugged look. Because of the grated design, rain and snow won’t build up. When you scrape off your shoes, the mud and dirt will also fall through. Dee Zee’s No Rust Technology prevents corrosion with its black powder coating. There are upgraded steel and aluminum options for a higher price. Dee Zee provides a limited lifetime warranty.

Starting Price: $159.95

Dee-Zee Running Boards For Ford Transit 2019 2020...
  • Part: Mounting Brackets
  • Color / Finish: Texture Black
  • Manufacturer Part Number: DZ15328

Pro Tip: Want to upgrade your truck bumpers? Check out these Heavy-Duty Bumpers That Are Perfect for Your Truck’s On and Off-Road Adventures.

RV towing truck with running boards installed
Running boards keep grit and grime out of your truck by giving people a place to wipe their feet.

#5. Go Rhino RB20 Running Boards With Drop Steps

About: These running boards also come with matching drop steps to make entering and exiting the truck even easier. The bullet-stamped board is seven and a half inches across at its widest point. Like the grated design of the Rough Step above, the holes in this Go Rhino option allow rain, snow, and mud to fall through without building up on the running boards. These boards consist of 16-gauge zinc-coated galvanized steel. Go Rhino provides a five-year limited warranty.

Starting Price: $682.50

#6 Tyger Star Armor Truck Running Boards

About: If you’d like a bit more design, these Tyger Star Armor running boards are laser cut to include the patented Tyger logo and stars on the top of the boards. The rust-resistant tubes have the E-coating blank finish and sealed end caps. These running boards have a different look than the previous options on this list. That’s because these Tyger boards feature two long tubes with the patented Tyger step only beneath the doors instead of running along the entire length of the board. Tyger offers a no-hassle five-year warranty.

Starting Price: $289

Tyger Auto TG-AM2D20078 Star Armor Kit for...
  • IMPORTANT – Only fit Crew Cab with 4 full-size doors. Not for...
  • FITMENT – Compatible with Crew Cab models for 2009-2018 Ram...
  • TYGER unique patented STAR metal step pads serve a helpful step...
Protect the interior and exterior of your truck with running boards.

#7. Tyger Riser Step Bars

About: These Tyger step bars come in a rust-resistant E-coating matte black finish or a T304 stainless steel triangle tubing. The stainless steel step bars feature non-slip and UV-resistant step pads. There are five extra-wide 6-inch bar options to provide additional stepping room, but most of the options are 4-inch or 5-inch bars. The E-coated step bars have pre-drilled thread holes for easy installation. Tyger offers a five-year warranty on the E-coated step bars and a limited lifetime warranty on the stainless steel step bars.

Starting Price: $168

Sale
Tyger Auto TG-RS2C40018 RISER Compatible with...
  • IMPORTANT – Only fit Crew Cab with 4 full-size doors. (Please...
  • 100% brand new Factory Style step bars for both driver &...
  • Step bars are made of 4inch wide heavy duty triangle mild steel...
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Are Truck Running Boards Worth It?

Running boards for trucks are worth the investment. Even paying the higher dollar amount of the AMP Research boards is worth the cost because of the advantages. Your kids and dogs can more easily get into the vehicle. You don’t have to worry about cleaning out the floor mats or vacuuming the interior as often. Plus, you can protect the exterior of your vehicle, which can be expensive to repair should a rock kick up and dent or scratch the surface.

Do you have running boards installed on your truck? Tell us what you used in the comments!

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