It’s a fairly simple idea, using fairly simple mechanisms. But it’s changing the world of truck customization overnight. Running boards are perfect for getting yourself into your truck or Jeep. But they inhibit ground clearance, increase drag, and are exposed to the elements for the 99.99% of the time they’re not in use. It’s not as if we don’t have the technology to solve this conundrum. But Bestop actually did with their PowerBoards™. Here’s how they work.
When you need them, they’re down. When you don’t, they’re up. It’s that simple. Bestop power running boards have electric motors that raise and lower them at need. Bestop uses a door sensor to activate your running boards, so open the door on your truck or Jeep and the running board will swing out quickly so you can use it to step up into the cab. Close the door, and the board will fold back up under your truck, flush and nearly invisible. Front doors and rear doors work identically.
Yes, this does mean you can’t ride on the running boards while the truck is in motion, so Prohibition-era gangsters and tactical strike teams at airports can stop reading. But think of the insurance savings.
Speaking of safety, Bestop also included resistance sensors to stop the PowerBoards™ from retracting whenever they detect an obstacle. No, you can’t lose a foot in there. You won’t even loosen a sock.
One advantage to the retractable running board is that you can make it as wide as you want. Bestop’s PowerBoards™ are over six inches wide, way bigger than the conventional fixed board. They’re heavily textured, too, so you won’t slip and smack your head into the door and end up in the hospital or on Youtube, and that’s important.
PowerBoards™ are even lighted with LEDs so you can see where you’re stepping. And there’s an optional extension arm you’ll find extra helpful if your truck is lifted.
Surely, though, all these newfangled moving parts and this electric wizardry won’t stand the test of time, right? They won’t be as durable as good old fashioned non-moving parts, like Teddy Roosevelt intended, right? Wrong.
Bestop tested the PowerBoard™ to failing. They finally had a hiccup after 250,000 cycles. That’s not bad, considering you’ll be hard pressed to use yours 50,000 times in the vehicle’s lifetime. They also salt-spray tested the boards and mechanisms for the equivalent of ten years of winter. They hooked up a little power and it worked perfectly, partly because the arms are cast of rustproof aluminum alloy, and partly because Bestop just knows how things should be built in America. Built tough enough to support 600 lbs per side, or roughly half the weight of Dwayne Johnson.
Installation can be settled in an afternoon, or a halftime show if you opt for the PowerBoard NX™, which uses wireless sensors, rather than a traditional wired system, to activate the boards.
PowerBoards™ have been around for a few years, but we bring them up now because Bestop just authorized us to offer you a $100 rebate if you buy a pair soon. That’s a hundred bucks you can spend on other parts, gas, or pizza, if you’re really hungry.
Bestop didn’t start out building running boards from the future. They started, as their name suggests, making soft tops for military surplus Jeeps after World War II. Veterans were buying up Jeeps by the boatload and hooning them around trails, but they wanted a fabric top to stave off the rain. Colorado auto upholsterer Thomas Bradley obliged, and soon he was making so many tops he had to shut down the rest of his business just to keep up with demand. He renamed his company Bestop and today they still make the highest-rated Jeep soft tops in the world- precisely fit, easy to install, and durable for ages.
Bestop just extended their $100 rebate to include their legendary sailcloth Replace-A-Top™ for Jeeps. They’re also offering a $50 rebate on their other Replace-A-Tops™ and their indestructible soft tonneaus.
Huge savings from the very best in the business. Take advantage of these deals before they disappear.
Rebates end 6/30/15.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.