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Elevate Your Truck’s Appeal and Accessibility with Running Boards

he running board must be shaped like two long plates that end

Running boards for trucks are not just an accessory but a necessity for many. They enhance the vehicle’s appearance, improve accessibility, and increase safety. Whether you’re climbing into a lifted truck or simply enhancing your vehicle’s look, understanding the ins and outs of running boards is essential.

Table of Contents:
– What are running boards for trucks?
– What do running boards do?
– How to choose running boards for your truck
– How long do running boards last?
– How to replace running boards
– How much are running boards?

What are running boards for trucks?

A black plastic step with northern lights design and rubber tires on the side of an off-road truck

Running boards are narrow steps fitted along the side of trucks and SUVs, bridging the gap between the ground and the vehicle’s cabin. Historically, they date back to the early days of automobiles, serving a functional purpose when vehicles had higher ground clearances. Today, they blend functionality with aesthetics, offering a step-up while complementing the vehicle’s design. Made from various materials including aluminum, steel, and plastic, running boards come in different styles and finishes to match or enhance a truck’s exterior.

What do running boards do?

a closeup of the running board

The primary function of running boards is to provide a stable platform for entering and exiting the vehicle. This is especially beneficial for lifted trucks, where the extra height can make it challenging to climb in and out safely. For families, running boards make it easier for children and older adults to access the vehicle. Beyond functionality, they also protect the truck’s sides from road debris and can improve aerodynamics, potentially reducing fuel consumption slightly by altering airflow around the vehicle.

How to choose running boards for your truck

one front step in a dark gray color

Selecting the right running boards involves considering several factors. Firstly, think about the primary purpose: Is it accessibility, protection, aesthetics, or a combination of these? Then, consider the material and finish, which should complement your truck’s look and withstand the environment it’s exposed to. Aluminum boards are lightweight and rust-resistant, making them ideal for wet climates, while steel offers robust durability. The design, whether it’s a step bar or a full running board, should match your vehicle’s style and your personal preference. Lastly, ensure the running boards are compatible with your truck’s make and model for a seamless fit and installation.

How long do running boards last?

The black stepped stair running board is mounted on the side of an electric truck

The lifespan of running boards depends on their material, the conditions they’re exposed to, and how well they’re maintained. Aluminum and high-quality stainless steel running boards can last the life of the vehicle if properly cared for, resisting rust and corrosion. Plastic and lesser-quality metals may degrade faster, especially if regularly exposed to harsh weather, salt, and rough terrain. Regular cleaning and inspection can extend their life, ensuring they remain functional and visually appealing for years.

How to replace running boards

The side steps of the black with silver edges

Replacing running boards is a straightforward process that most vehicle owners can undertake with basic tools. After selecting the new running boards, the first step is to remove the existing ones, typically involving unscrewing bolts that attach them to the vehicle’s frame. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for both removal and installation to avoid damaging the vehicle. The new running boards are then aligned with the mounting points, and securely bolted in place. While an achievable DIY project, professional installation is recommended for those unfamiliar with automotive modifications.

How much are running boards?

This is black running board for the side door of a truck

The cost of running boards varies widely based on material, design, and brand. Basic models can start as low as $100 to $200, offering functionality with a simple design. Mid-range options, typically made from more durable materials with enhanced aesthetics, can range from $300 to $600. High-end running boards, offering premium materials, advanced features like LED lighting, or custom designs, can cost upwards of $1000. Installation costs should also be considered, ranging from $50 to $200 if professional assistance is required.


Running boards for trucks offer a blend of functionality, safety, and style, making them a worthwhile investment for any truck owner. By understanding the types available, their benefits, and how to choose and care for them, you can make an informed decision that enhances your vehicle’s utility and appeal. Whether you’re looking for accessibility, protection, or just a visual upgrade, running boards are a versatile accessory that can meet a wide range of needs.

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