Posted by Stephen Sandefur on 2/25/2020 to Before you Buy
Any off-road enthusiast knows the importance of adding leveling to your 2019-2020 Ford Ranger, but not everyone thinks about the drawbacks. Adding this extra height can also mean that it's harder to get into your Ranger. If you're short, then you may find it difficult stretching to get into your cab. This especially can become a problem if your hands are full of groceries and if the ground is covered with slick ice. Not only will getting into your truck look silly, but it can also become dangerous because of these reasons. There's an easy solution to reduce the risk of uncracked craniums that truck owners have been using long before the Ranger was reintroduced to America. With the addition of running boards, oval steps or drop steps, you can have a stable stepping point to get into your truck's cab. With so many different brands that make multiple models of bars, which kind is perfect for you?
Running Boards:To assist you when entering or exiting your Ranger's cab, one of the best options is a pair of running boards. With a "running" amount of space, getting in or out of your vehicle will never be challenging again. You will have sufficient grip and space to move around liberally. Running boards also provide a visual presentation like no other because of their unique colors, materials, tread patterns and the potential to include LED lights. If you live in an area that frequently experiences large amounts of snow, then your running board will fill up with snow/dirt and need cleared before you can head out. Your running board may be susceptible to getting dirty, but fortunately that dirt should remain out of your cab if you first wipe your shoes off on the board.
For our build, we installed and tested Go Rhino RB10 Bedlined Running Boards, which you can watch below. The RB10 steps gives the Ranger a Raptor-style look and great traction. Its tough zinc-coated galvanized steel construction protects the boards from any sun or debris damage you might encounter. Next, we installed the ADD Rock Slider Side Steps and have also been pleased with how it looks and performs on our Ranger. ADD's steel Rock Sliders are designed to be more tough and to protect the lower side of your Ranger better than standard running boards.
Oval Bars:Oval bars are a variation of round nerf bars that can offer you more foot support. It's wider and more secure than round options, which can be easier to slip on. Most oval nerf bars feature rubber or textured foot grips to help you stay firmly planted. Without these bars, the Ranger's doors and side panels will be at risk to damage when driving off-road. The oval bar's stylish design uses tough material to provide a barrier between whatever debris your truck tires kicks up and your vehicle. Some designs also offer replaceable end caps to give the Ranger the look of a welded end cap with an iconic, reusable design. While oval steps are a solid option, it is worth noting that in wet weather conditions, some steps can become slippery. It's a good idea to wipe off the bars before stepping on them to ensure your safety. If you're someone that's often in a hurry and might forget to do this, then a different kind of step might benefit you more.
Drop Steps:Drop steps are a great accessory for side steps because they further improve access to your Ranger's cab. With the addition of these steps to your running boards, you get a specific step placed below the board and in front of each door for more stepping area. Also, with the added width of the steps on your running boards, your Ranger will look wider and beefier; this helps shed that mild-mannered mid-size truck reputation some Ranger owners want to distance themselves from. Its tight fit to your truck's rocker panels accentuate the tough build you strive for. However, the steps can decrease the amount of side clearance and breaker angle when off-road. Since a major selling point of increased truck leveling is to increase ground clearance when off-road, some may find running boards with drop steps counter-intuitive. However, their tough construction ensures durability if obstacles do strike your steps.
With so many options out there for the Ranger, it's understandable if you've stared at our side steps and nerf bars section and felt choice paralysis. Investing in aftermarket truck parts is a big step and you need to make sure you are making an educated buy. With this guide, hopefully you have a better understanding about the various options you have for the 2019-2020 Ford Ranger. Which type of side steps are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!