I've been using a trucker's hitch knot for a very long time (camping, strapping stuff down, line length adjustment, pulley system) I've always switched my mid-line loop when I've come to not trust them for numerous reasons (not secure, impossible to untie after loaded, rope damage, take too long, etc...).
I've used the following knots for periods of time, switching between them as I feel uncertain:
- slip knot (quick, not reliable)
- alpine butterfly (quick, reliable, seizes up)
- directional figure 8 (quick, reliable, seizes up)
- sliding prusik (doesn't seize, not quick if not already on rope, sometimes not reliable)
- bowline on a bight (reliable, doesn't seize, not quick)
- span loop (reliable, quick, seizes up)
- "half" sheep shank with a half hitch to secure also called a bell ringer's knot (quick, doesn't seize, reliable?)
They all have their uses and advantages but I'm looking for that 'bomb proof' setup where I can load it to the max that the rope can handle and still be able to hold while not making this mid-line knot impossible to remove and doesn't permanently damage the rope. Speed is important as well because I will often pull out my cordage and tie down a trailer full of stuff while my Father/Father In Law will be fiddling with straps that have a tendency to become a nightmare of a mess.
My go to was a directional figure 8 for the longest time but it started to get very difficult to untie when using heavy loads (I'm heavy and like to use hammocks while camping :) some of my cordage has these in there permanently). I then switched to using the span loop for a long time but that also locks up. I've now settled on a bell ringer's with a half hitch lock.
This has worked well for me when tied properly but it 'feels' like it is not secure. I've never had it fail (even on 6 hours trips being used to tied down kitchen appliances on a trailer) but it just doesn't seem like a very stable setup.
What knot is best suited as the 'fixed' knot in a trucker's hitch?