The first time we ever laid our eyes on one of those high-zoot SUVs that included running boards that automatically lowered down to your feet, we were in awe. Sure, call us lazy, but we like the option of having a little help when jumping up into a taller truck or SUV. The problem is there aren't many factory pick ups that include an option of automatic steps that greet you when opening the door ... until now!
|The Bestop PowerBoard offered us an option for an aftermarket retractable running board.|
Bestop has just introduced the all new PowerBoard. The PowerBoard is a completely bolt-on step system that gives you the same functionality that those $70k Caddy's are running around with, but without a huge price tag, and you can mount them to almost any truck on the market today.
The driver of our 2005 Dodge 4x4 Quad Cab was recently inspired to search for an easier way to get into her truck, after a motorcycle accident temporarily left her incapable of easily getting into the cab. Bestop offers a great option in the PowerBoards for the Dodge, and we got our hands on a set to test them out.
|Broken and bruised after a motorcycle accident, our driver had no problems getting into the truck.|
Install of the Bestop PowerBoard was a snap. With a couple of pop rivets and bolts to the underside of the trucks body, the PowerBoards were securely mounted in less than two hours. Most of the install time was dedicated to the wiring harness, which is actually quite simple. The whole system is pre-wired, making this a plug-and-play affair. The control box was mounted at the fire wall and four wires run to the PowerBoards themselves.
The Bestop Powerboard wiring harness was most time-intensive part to install.
Everything installed easily according to the detailed instructions, however, we did run into a very slight fitment problem. The motor that runs the PowerBoard action points downward, toward the ground. When the step retracts fully, it hits the motor, causing an audible "clunk." We can't see any damage occurring due to this, even over a long period of time, but were surprised that the motor is in the position that it is. No worries, we finished the install and began testing. Update: We contacted Bestop about this issue and received a replacement part that has taken care of the problem. It's great to see a company that reacts quickly and responds to a problem in one day and resolves it the next. Well done, Bestop!
|The overall install time was about two hours, and it was a breeze overall.|
We were skeptics when told that the PowerBoards could handle 600 lbs. of weight, so that would be our first test. With two over grown men, at 250-plus pounds each, standing on the PowerBoards at the same time, we'd say they past the test!
Ok, so they can hold the weight of a couple of Neanderthals, but how do they work for our busted-up driver? The Powerboards have an extremely fast reaction time when opening the door. They raise and lower in about one second and are down before the door is fully opened. They rest at a very acceptable height for even the most vertically challenged folks and are a joy for our slightly broken driver.
|The PowerBoards are just the right height for stepping into a truck or SUV.|
With one small step up to the cab (up to 6 inches), the PowerBoards make it easy to slide right onto the seats, reducing the chance of a strained back or hitting your head on the door opening, which we've done before.
|Getting into the truck is much easier with the addition of the PowerBoards.|
One of our favorite attributes of the PowerBoards is that they are nearly invisible when fully retracted. Sitting below and slightly behind the rocker area of the truck, the extruded aluminum steps look to be part of the frame when examining them from ground level. They are extremely light weight, take up very little room and are only there when needed.
|You can barely see the PowerBoards when retracted.|
We wondered about safety, and children who might "experiment" with the PowerBoards. Being the children that we are, we experimented. Bestop includes a safety feature built right in that deactivates the upward and downward motion of the PowerBoards if anything obstructs its path.
Another handy safety feature included in the steps is the use of LED lighting to aid in visibility during nighttime use. Each door to the cab has its own LED light that illuminates enough area to see exactly where you are about to step. Last but not least, each 6.25" wide PowerBoard uses a textured surface area so there is a reduced chance of slipping, even during wet and snowy weather.
|Safety is addressed with Bestop's PowerBoard, as the unit will deactivate its motion if obstructed.|
The PowerBoards come with a three-year, 36,000-mile limited warranty and are offered for almost any truck application, two-door and/or four-door.
If you want easier access to your truck but don't want a step that hangs down below the door all the time, take a look at Bestop's affordable alternative in the new PowerBoards. As they note, "It's the Board that Moves." You won't be disappointed.
P.O. Box 307
Broomfield, CO 80038 U.S.A.
800/845-3567 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800/845-3567 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (U.S. and Canada)