Inferior Man Step - 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT Crew Long-Term Road Test

2014 Chevrolet Silverado: Inferior Man Step

October 17, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

The 2014 Ford F-150 is offered with a large step and assist-pole that extend from the tailgate. It's a brilliant feature I appreciated several times with our long-term Raptor and I wasn't the only one. Nevertheless, as I describe in this Raptor post, Chevrolet decided to ridicule it in a commercial, dubbing it the "Man Step." I don't know about you, but all that did was provide a catchier name than "Tailgate Step" and point out a great feature Chevy lacked.

The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado includes steps built into the corners of the bumper that help you climb up into the bed. They are better than nothing, but they do absolutely nothing when you descend from the bed. You still need to take a leap off the tailgate. In other words, Ford's "Man Step" is vastly better for climbing up and down. When you have to do that frequently, say when moving boxes or multiple bulky items, that makes a big difference.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,666 miles


  • thetruck454 thetruck454 Posts:

    This is what happens when they design trucks for soccer moms (and dads). How many years have trucks worked fine w/o a step? I jump into and out of the back of my truck all the time. I can see how Fords design can be helpful, but how hard is it to jump in the bed and pull the boxes to the tailgate then jump down and pick them up?

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @thetruck454: I, like you, have always been the type to hop up in the bed. Actually, as smaller athletic guy, I was always the one who HAD to hop up and feed the other guys when I used to do a lot of manual labor. However, I know plenty of people with kne

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    Trucks are a lot taller than they used to be, too. Blame the soccer b!tches and limp dick beta males who comprise the bulk of 1/2 ton sales.

  • fandsw fandsw Posts:

    Seriously, has anyone compared the height of the bed of an older 60s/70s/80s vintage truck to the height of a full size truck nowadays? Most are easily 18-24 inches higher off of the ground today then they were back then for NO reason other than looks. An average size person used to be able to reach easily into the bed of the truck with the top of the rail being stomach height, and then lower the tailgate and step up onto it without too much trouble. that ain't happening on today's trucks without a ladder......

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Agree: bed heights have gotten taller, necessitating these extra steps. Also agree: Ford's design is better. Although there's something to be said about the simplicity of a step integrated into the bumper (vs one with moving parts like Ford's), having an actual step is certainly much safer than a toe hold. We're not rock-climbing here, we're stepping up into the beds of our trucks.

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Chevy's 'solution' is a cop-out fail. You might as well just step on top of the bumper instead of a few inches below - not to mention it doesn't help at all getting out.

  • ahightower ahightower Posts:

    Always thought that was a petty commercial. Like you said, simply amplifies something that you don't have. "Yeah, well, we don't want that step anyway because it's stupid and girly..." I find the new GM bumpers unattractive.

  • dan_acosta dan_acosta Posts:

    With the Chevy you just turn around and use the grab handle built into the corner of the bed and go down backwards like on a ladder. I can see the advantage of the Ford design if you are walking down forwards carrying a box. However, the Chevy design has the advantage of being used with the tailgate closed, plus as somebody else pointed out it has no moving parts. I initially agreed with the poster who said why not just step on the bumper, but the few inches lower step is actually easier to use. Is Chevy's new step a deal breaker? Probably not, but it is a nice feature to have.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    There is always the wheel and tire step work great for going up and down with practice.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    its your fault for getting the 4x4 silvarado that only has 8 inches of ground clearence. you should have just gotten the 2wd. if you had the 2wd i would just say lower the truck. Thats a good thing about lowered trucks is the bed is acessable. i think the truck bedhight has been raised artificially due to the mini or mid-sized trucks getting larger every generation. it made the 1/2 ton pickups have to get larger as well to make them seem like they are worth the extra money?

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    bassrockerx, I'm pretty sure they DID get the 2wd.

  • karbuff karbuff Posts:

    One thing to remember. Ford charges $375 for a 1 step tail gate ladder and an additional $325 for the box side steps. You need these if you want to reach over the side of the truck bed easily as it is a bit higher than the Chevrolet. The Silverado comes with the built in bumper corner steps at no additional cost and with a lower bed height is more accessible all the way around. I think if I had the tail gate step on the Ford, I'd rarely take the time to open it up and extend the handle. Seems more of a novelty than anything.

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