Discover the Different Types of Running Boards

Running boards provide an excellent way to easily access a vehicle. They are great for people of all ages and sizes, providing a convenient boost into your car or truck. If you are considering adding running boards to your vehicle, it’s important to be aware of the different types available and how to measure for the appropriate size and install them. This article will provide an overview of the different types of running boards available, as well as a guide on how to measure for their installation.

Popular Types of Running Boards

There are several types of running boards available in the market. Let’s have a look at them:

#1 Molded

Molded running boards are made of a hard plastic material that is molded to fit the shape of the vehicle’s body. These boards are long lasting but they can’t withstand heavy use. 

#2 Aluminum

These are made of lightweight aluminum and are typically more durable than molded running boards. They are made out of diamond-plate or smooth-surfaced and they provide a good amount of toughness and performance.

#3 Stainless steel

Stainless steel running boards are most commonly used by vehicle owners. These are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel due to which they are very durable and strong. They also make sure that the water doesn’t get into the tubes.

#4 Powersteps

These powered running boards are usually more expensive compared to regular ones as they automatically get tucked away under the vehicle. Moreover, they automatically extend when the vehicle’s door is opened. They are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel and can be a more expensive option.

#5 Retractable running boards

Retractable running boards are the same as Powersteps but they are manually operated. You need to open them yourself and tuck them back in after using. 

#6 Nerf bars

These are not technically running boards, but they serve a similar purpose. Nerf bars are metal bars that are mounted to the side of the vehicle and provide a step for passengers to enter or exit the vehicle. Nerf bars are cylindrical unlike running boards that are usually flat. You can find these running boards for trucks in this page.

How to Measure for Running Boards

Before measuring for running boards, decide which type of running board you want to install on your vehicle. Different types of running boards may have different mounting requirements.

Step #1

Use a tape measure and find out the length of your vehicle from the front bumper to the rear bumper. Note down the measurement in feet and inches on a piece of paper or in your smartphone’s notepad.

Step #2

Measure the distance between the center of the front and rear wheels on your vehicle. If you’ve already installed a running board before, you can also check the width of the running board for replacement. This will help you learn about the exact placement of the new running board.

Step #3

Check the drop distance, which is between the bottom of the vehicle’s door sill and the top of the running board. This measurement will let you know how high the running board should be mounted.

Step #4

Finding the mounting location is essential as it depends on the type of running board you choose. Some running boards mount to the body of the vehicle, while others mount to the frame or rocker panel. 

You may check the owners’ manual to cross-check mounting requirements.

Installation Guide

You will require certain tools including running board kit, drill and drill bits, socket set and wrenches, screwdrivers and measuring tape.

Before you start the installation process, make sure you have all the tools and equipment needed for the job. Mark the area where the running board will be mounted with the help of measuring tape and make sure it is even on both sides.

Now you can place the brackets and drill holes for mounting. Attach the brackets that come in the running board kit. Install the running board and make sure that you tightly secure it with the help of bolts.

Make sure that the alignment is correct and the board is not touching the truck’s wheels or body. Do the same steps on the other side and then test the stability by applying pressure. You can simply stand on it or keep something heavier to check.


When choosing running boards for truck, consider factors such as the material, finish, and style that will best suit your needs and personal taste. There are several online websites like SuncentAuto that provide such high-quality running boards at affordable prices. Moreover, they also provide a 90 day return policy. Apart from running boards, you can also find a wide range of  aftermarket parts and accessories for Ford, Ram, Toyota, and many other vehicles.