Story and photos by G.R. Whale
My neighbor’s newer Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4WD is about 3 feet high at the bumper and 5 feet at the bedside; that’s higher than an old Dodge 3/4-ton 4WD on the same size tires. That height makes getting anything in or out of the bed a real pain unless you drop the tailgate, and that only works for the back half, and it’s a higher step if climbing in.
A BedStep (made by Amp Research) on the back bumper or the BedStep2 for the side in front of the rear wheel (if the BedStep’s slight loss in departure angle at one corner will be an issue) gives a much easier two-foot high step, and it can handle 300 pounds of your weight and cargo.
Step on the leading edge to lock it down, toe tap it underneath and it retracts itself; it sticks out far enough that you can use it to step on lowered tailgate, but not so far out that anything driving by is likely to whack it.
BedSteps run from $212 and use simple hand tools -- an SAE hex and 17- and 21-mm sockets – to install on a new F-150. Here’s how to install it:
First attach the step assembly to the mounting arm with the supplied hardware already coated with thread-locker. Be careful messing around with it; the lifting spring looks much like an HD big-block intake valve spring.
Testing, PUTC style: No creaking or flexing of the BedStep at 300 pounds. Remove the “push” decal (shoes slide right off it) and the ribs on the step will show you where to push down. It won’t go down easily when pressing on the back edge.