Traditionally, running boards are a more low-key sub-category of step systems. Often reserved for contractors who prefer a wider, non-slip surface for easy access in and out of a work vehicle, they’re also seen on community shuttles looking for a safer, more comfortable step up. Think: construction workers, grandmas in need of extra leverage, and the disabled who really benefit from such a product. Rarely, if ever, have running boards been referenced with the same cool candor as other step systems on the market. That is, until now. It’s as if the Westin SG6 LED Running Boards answered a divine calling for a next-generation offering that actually combines necessary functionality with desired good looks.
“Once upon a time, running boards on a truck almost guaranteed that the person inside was a female or elderly. But this isn’t the case any longer,” says Junior Calvert, Director of National Accounts for Westin. Running board sales are at an all-time high for the company, as they’ve witnessed a lot of consumers move in this direction during recent years.
Enter, the Westin SG6 LED Running Boards
“The OE step product designs as of late are more squared off and boxy, differing from the old Euro look. We needed something that complemented the new OE styling better than what is currently being offered via the aftermarket today,” says Calvert. “Similarly, the SG6 running boards also are more squared off and thicker, from the front to the back lip and all the way around. This product blends in and adds to the overall appeal of the vehicle. They look great on trucks, yet don’t overpower SUVs or CUVs,” he explains.
Lighting the Way
Westin’s SG6 LED Running Boards not only feature lighted end caps, which illuminate the entire step surface to provide safer vehicle access, but also a textured slip resistant step surface that creates enhanced footing in virtually any weather or terrain.
A Magnetic Connection
Additionally, magnetic switches activate the LED lights once a vehicle door is opened, thereby instantly providing enhanced visibility and safer access to the cab. “The way the lighted version works—because this product is available as both a non-lighted and lighted version—is by using a magnetic contact system. So, you open the door, break the contact, and the light comes on. You go to shut the door, that same contact in the door frame is triggered, and a simple wiring mechanism signals the light off,” explains Calvert.
Constructed with Care
Furthermore, the SG6 LED Running Boards feature a polished aluminum finish with a protective anodized coating to prevent oxidation. “What really serves as the backbone of this running board program is a solid, one-piece extruded aluminum platform that is corrosion resistant. The whole running board outside of the end caps is aluminum, and the rubberized non-skid pad runs the full length of the actual bar,” says Calvert.
Next Steps for Westin
No details were left unturned, from the magnetic switches that automatically cue the water-resistant LED end caps to the rocker panel gap strip included for a finished look. Introduced at the recent 2018 SEMA Show, response to the Westin SG6 LED Running Boards was overwhelming, according to Calvert. “This product is filling a need. There are no OE-style boards that have a lighted version, featuring these kinds of integrated contactors,” he says. “The SG6 is an updated version of what a running board should look like—this is our modern take on it. It looks great, and the price point is affordable,” he adds. “I’ve been with the company for over 30 years and I can’t tell you how excited I am to head into call centers, visit aftermarket accessory shops, and attend shows to show off this product.”
Next stop? The Keystone BIG Show from March 8-9, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine. Positioned as the biggest wholesale-only trade show in North America, Westin will have exclusive access to a bevy of automotive aftermarket shop owners that are prime for stocking the SG6 LED Running Boards. “We look forward to this event each year because it gives us an opportunity to not only get a pulse on market trends and product feedback, but also allows shops in attendance to stock up on inventory and secure proper merchandising displays for their showrooms, so that general consumers can have a visual when shopping for step systems like our new SG6 LED Running Boards,” adds Calvert.
Vehicle specific mounting kits are required, but sold separately. To learn more about Westin SG6 LED Running Boards, click here.