Looking for a set of new chrome or stainless steel nerf bars for your truck can be daunting. What are the real differences? The first thing to look at is the length of nerf bar. There are two types types – ‘cab mount’ and ‘wheel to wheel’ bars and are also referred to as ‘truck side bars’ or ‘truck side steps’.
First, a standard set of nerf bars fit under the cab of the vehicle only, and are referred to as ‘cab mount’. These truck step bars are meant to help you in and out of the vehicle only and although may look nice, will provide you with something to step on when you get in and out of the vehicle.
Each step bar has a pad at each door opening to help prevent you from slipping, and to provide a flat surface for you to step up on. These cab mount side bars usually bolt right up to factory holes that already exist, so the installation does not require drilling, and they are relatively easy install.
The other style on the market are called wheel to wheel nerf bars, and they fit exactly that way – wheel-to-wheel. This means that the nerf bars will now fit underneath of the truck bed itself as well as under the cab of the truck. The advantage of this is that you now have a step to get up into the bed of the truck, usually beneficial for someone working out of the back of their truck on a regular basis.
If your truck is a dually pickup, you would want to get a dually style nerf bar that flares out in the rear where they meet up with the dually flare. This gives a much better appearance as well as being more practical for the user. The wheel to wheel nerf bars still mount only under the cab itself. One would think that these would mount under the truck bed as well, but they do not. If they mounted underneath of the truck bed they would eventually get twisted and bent due to the nature of the truck bed itself twisting and turning along with the suspension when going over curbs, etc.
Last, if you want your bars to last buy only stainless steel nerf bars. These have all of the appearance of shiny chrome, but they are solid and highly polished and will not rust or peel. These will probably last as long as your truck.
Chrome nerf bars and black side steps are plated or powder coated over regular steel and if chipped or even scratched, they can eventually rust on you. If they start to rust they would most likely start peeling the chrome plating.