Rocker Protection and Side Step
|This tough new Jeep product is unique!||Short Cuts|
|by: Vance Anderson
|The "Step_ON_It!" combined Rocker Guard and Step from ON Products!|
If you do enough four wheeling and like your Jeep's body intact, you will eventually need rocker protection. At the same time, as lift kits or larger tires are added to a rig, it becomes increasingly more difficult to get into and out of without pulling a groin muscle. The Step_ON_It! Rocker guard addresses both of these issues. This product provides near bullet-proof rocker panel protection while also incorporating a pivot-down step feature. The pivoting step automatically lowers when you step on it (hence the name) and then retracts when your weight is taken off of it.
|Normal position||Lowered position|
In my opinion, this is an innovative new product that is unique in this market. It is formed from 3/16" steel and provides complete protection of the Jeep's lower rocker panels. To eliminate the possibiliy of damage to the body panels, the Step_ON_It! is firmly mounted to the frame and does not attach to the body sheet metal. The system utilizes a gas strut and lever arms to pivot the rocker guard down for use as a convenient step for your Jeep. Light pressure from a foot or hand is all that it takes to lower the step. Installation is easy with basic hand tools, requiring no drilling, welding or cutting.
|The bolt-on kit comes with all necessary hardware and easy to follow instructions.|
|Lift mechanism and brackets.|
|Bottom view of Step_ON_It|
The Step_ON_It! comes with an excellent 6 page set of detailed and illustrated installation instructions. The entire installation is easily accomplished with basic hand tools (wrenches, sockets, screwdriver) and requires no drilling or welding. While I completed the install by myself, I wish I had a helping hand when the time came to attach the steps to the brackets as they are a bit heavy and awkward to position. Taking pictures as I went along, it took me about half a day to get the first side installed and then only about 2 hours for the second. To see an overview of the entire installation process, click here.
The slogan from the manufacturer, "ON_Products!" is "Life with your Jeep just got even better!" and I can honestly say that it has for me.
|Even big Jeeps get hung on a rock at times...||The Step_ON_It rocker fully supporting the side of my Jeep the rock.||After sliding off of the rock there is merely a minor scratch|
On the trail, the Step_ON_It! has performed well. On a recent trip to one of my favorite lakes in the Sierra, I encountered a drop-off over an obstacle that left me resting right on the driver's side rocker area.
|Using the added side protection to pivot around an obstacle.|
The Step_ON_It! protection allowed me to back off the rock and take another line. Without the Step_ON_It!, I would have suffered body damage as the rock redecorated the sheet metal rocker panel. As you can see in the photos, the step only suffered minor scratches which can easily be touched-up with a spray can of Hammerite paint (a tough paint that I use on my bumpers and other parts).
|The full-length step allows easy access to the roof and allows me to easily wash the windows.|
The Step_ON_It! also provides side protection from obstacles. The step sits away from the body, creating a "buffer zone", to help protect the body and doors. The smooth lines and full rocker panel protection allow you to use the side of the step to pivot on or around obstacle like the sizeable boulders that are common in the Sierra. On one particularly tight trail, I was forced to pivot around a tree using this technique. The Step_ON_It! allowed me to smoothly get past the obstacle without any damage while the smooth, rounded metal shape prevented any damage to the tree. (Note: Even though the tree was not damaged in any way by this maneuver, at all time try to avoid contact with and trees or other vegetation, and tread lightly on the trails). The step not only protects the body and flare from damage by the tree, it prevented the sharp edges of the Jeep from possibly damaging the trunk of the tree.
I really appreciate having the step for getting into and out of my lifted TJ. With 4.5" lift, 1" body lift and 35" tires, entry height is an issue. It's much easier to use the self retracting step for entry rather than trying to hoist myself up. When I'm dressed up, having the convienient step for entry and exit prevents me from brushing my leg on the dirty rocker panels like I used to do.
The full-length feature of the step is also extremely handy. With over 5" of lift, I used to have to use a step ladder to to anything on the top of my Jeep, but having a full-length step, I can
stand on it to wash the windshield and hood area of the Jeep as well as the entire top.
The step is also helpful for the loading and unloading of a roof-mounted luggage rack.
The step is sturdy and stable, and the non-skid tape on the top gives me secure slip resistant footing.
While you may have been able to tell this by now, I think the Step_ON_It! is certainly among best all-around rocker protection on the market today. It provides solid rocker panel protection without sacrificing precious ground clearance. The complete coverage and the smooth lines protect the Jeep and allow me to easily glide over and around many obstacle instead of getting stuck. The added convenience of the drop-down step allows easy entry into and out of a lifted Jeep with a minimum of effort. The tough materials used, solid construction, and obvious emphasis on quality in even the smallest of details, give me the confidence that this product will survive the punishment it will encounter on the trails I run.
|They look great...||provide a convenient step...||and can take punishment.|