I have to admit that the Tacoma is a tall truck and it can be a challenge to climb into it. A stock PreRunner is almost 2 feet off the pavement, and this makes it difficult for anyone under 6 ft tall. I’m able to hop into the drivers seat, but DeAnna was struggling to climb into the cab. Another issue was cleaning the roof and windshield. Since the truck is almost as tall as I am, I frequently had to use a small step stool. The answer to the problem was sidesteps.
Sidesteps come in a few varieties and I prefer the ones that provide some protection to the vehicle. For this, you generally want tubular pipes with steps mounted in them. These are a merger of running boards and “nerf” bars. I wanted steps that were easy to install, so they had to use the factory mounting holes under the cab floor. The disadvantage is that these steps are not strong enough for hard off road use.
Originally I ordered a set of Smittybilt nerf steps in black. These are made by a company named NFAB in Texas. To my dismay, I found that NFAB sold the design to Smittybilt and they are now made in China. The steps are badly constructed, do not fit well, and now use smaller tubes. The whole story is posted HERE.
Fortunately, I ordered the steps through AutoAnything, and they really stand behind their customers. Once I explained all the problems, they were quick to resolve the issue. The Chinese sidesteps were discarded and a new set of Steelcraft steps were shipped to me. I was very happy with the quality and fit of the new steps. Rather than capturing the install with multiple pictures and a lengthy text, I chose to make a video. If you like the video, please add your comments to it on YouTube.