Power deployable running boards have been around on the Ford F-150 and many other pickups for some time now. But in prior generations, the F-150 running board design consisted of a shorter piece that ran the length of the cab, then stopped before reaching the bed area. That meant folks who wanted a step for easier access to the bed had to go with either Ford’s optional box side steps or a comparable aftermarket solution. However, that isn’t the case with the all-new 2021 Ford F-150.
The 2021 F-150 will offer a longer deployable running board as a single piece, with a kick stop feature, Ford Authority has learned from F-150 vehicle engineering manager, Dawn Piechocki. This makes the step longer and avoids the separate step. Hence, the primary running board now simply swings backwards. This is evident in photos of the new F-150 running board, which spans the entire gap from the front wheel to the back wheel.
This seamless solution provides a much cleaner look than the old, separate box steps, and fully retracts underneath the pickup, while the old steps protruded slightly, as can be seen in these photos.
The old box steps were also a $325 option, or can be purchased from Ford’s accessories site for $385 each. On the 2021 F-150, the deployable running boards are standard equipment on King Ranch High and Platinum and Limited trim levels, and are optional on the Lariat High SuperCrew. Adding the 601A High package to the King Ranch costs $4,560, and the running boards are included in that package.
Those who want Ford’s new deployable F-150 running boards on the Lariat must first pay $6,920 for the 502A High package, then add on the running boards for an additional cost of $1,220.