Nerf bars are most often associated with off-road vehicles but got their name and start in racing. A “nerf” is a small collision that occurs along the side of a vehicle. Sometimes two cars would bump sides and if their tires made contact with each other, the result could be catastrophic. Nerf bars were developed to prevent these mishaps. Since these bars also prevented damage to rocker panels and the bottoms of doors, they soon found their way onto off-road vehicles.
The evolution of the nerf bar continued when a flat step pad was added to the normally round bars and the step bar was born. It was a welcome improvement to those lifted vehicles that had became a chore to climb into. Each manufacturer adds their own little twist to the design or material make-up, but in the end, they all serve as a multi-purpose addition to your vehicle. Ease of entry, protection from damage and safety are all good reasons to outfit your truck or SUV with a set.