Rocker panels are one of the first casualties of off-pavement driving because they are the closest part of your pickup’s body to the ground and take the brunt of high-center encounters with rocks and other obstacles encountered around construction, road building and aggregate sites.

Rockers are also one of the most expensive to repair when it comes to bodywork.

Tubular “nerf” bars help provide excellent protection against such damage, while also serving as a safe jacking point. Nerf bars also serve as a handy step for those pickups with taller suspensions and tires.

The downside, so to speak, is your typical tubular nerf bars/steps are shin killers when boots are wet and muddy. That is unless they are designed with non-slip steps like the N-Fab (www.n-fab.com) 6-step bars.

We installed as set on our Big Boss Ram 2500 4×4. The simple installation, handled by Truck Supply & Outfitters in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, takes about a ½-hour.

What the N-Fab steps provided our 2010 Ram Crew Cab 4Ă—4 is excellent rocker panel protection; a strong jacking point; convenient steps into the cab; and easy access to the cross-bed refueling tank/tool box combo.

The same setup might be just the ticket for your own pro pickup. – Bruce W. Smith