Running Boards at the Launch Ramp — Nice Accessory!

If you’ve ever hung around a fisherman or spent any time in the truck they pull their boat with, you know they usually both smell. The fisherman smells because he’s been out in the heat, sweating all day, handling dead or soon-to-be dead fish. His truck smells because he’s been tromping in and out of it with soggy shoes that have stood in murky water and muck at boat ramps, launching and hauling.

Such is the price of that secret sweet spot.

It's nice to have a way to get from the cab of the truck to the truck bed, and then to the trailer and back, without getting your feet wet. Running boards provide that path. Photos courtesy of Chevrolet.

It’s nice to have a way to get from the cab of the truck to the truck bed, and then to the trailer and back, without getting your feet wet. Running boards provide that path. Photos courtesy of Chevrolet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and this is something I found out quite by accident. Where I used to work, we’d have access to media vehicles. I used to test tow vehicles and write evaluations about how they worked for pulling boats. Most of the vehicles came with gobs of bells and whistles, and one in particular had those tubular chrome running boards. The vertically challenged use them for stepping up into a four-wheel drive pickup.

I’m tall enough to step in from ground level, I usually dismissed those running boards because it’s easy to rub your leg on them when you get out, and if they’re dirty from a mud puddle or a recent rain, you can count on them soiling the back of your pant leg.

running-boards-300But they do come in handy on pickup trucks at shallow boat ramps, which often have you backing far into the water to float the boat. If you have running boards, you can shinny down them, then up into the bed to get to the bow winch—and your feet stay dry. That might not mean much during the summer months, but after those fall cruises and in places where the water is always cold, like the Pacific Ocean, you’ll appreciate running boards. They also help keep your truck’s carpeting cleaner.

And cleaner means an avid angler’s truck won’t take on “that odor” over time.