What is the best technique to lock a trucker's hitch in a strong way that's also easy to release, but most important, that doesn't loose any (or the least amount of) tension in the line, when I lock it?


4 Answers 4


I tie two half hitches, with the second one being slipped. I don't have any trouble with tension, and it's easy to remove later.


I only tie one slipped half hitch(pulled really tight) but do a daisy chain after it. The loop created by that one slipped half hitch is the loop that starts the chain.

To keep it secure while I'm finishing the lock, I just pinch the rope around the midline loop and work the slipped half hitch w/ one hand. Once the slipped half hitch is tight and there are 2-3 'chains' after it, the load is held very securely.

This has two major benefits.

  1. To undo it, pull the loose end. Everything just cleanly falls apart.
  2. If you have extra rope, do more daisy chains to keep it tidy and 'use it up'.
  • Concur, but when I am feeling extra cautious, I put a clove hitch in place of the last half hitch. Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 22:05
  • I've used the described method for virtually every single time i've ever used a trucker's hitch, which is a lot! It is my goto method and honestly very secure. For it to come undone, you would need the next daisy chain to come THROUGH the slipped half hitch. Just not happening...
    – g19fanatic
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 23:27
  • 2
    +1 to holding a good pinch with one hand and working the half hitch with the other. I find that any tension I lose while doing this is less than the flex in the line (when using paracord anyway)
    – plast1k
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 4:04

I'm partial to the taut-line hitch, but you could also use a rolling hitch. I like using adjustable knots because they're easier to get tight, quick to re-tighten if they come loose for any reason, and easy to loose and untie. Simply tie the taut-line hitch back onto the same line after feeding it through the loop, you can then slide the knot along the rope as you tighten the trucker knot (or butterfly pulley as I've always called it), then tie the slack off around the whole system using slip-overhand knots.

  • This is a good idea that I'd never considered. Unlike many other knots, the tautline hitch can be easily tied with the standing end under tension. This is a feature of the knot taught in some sailing classes -- sailors "float" a line behind the sailboat in case someone goes over. If you do go over and can grab the line, it's an easy knot to tie around yourself as you're being dragged through the water (unlike a bowline).
    – Jeff W
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 12:02
  • @JeffW - Do you know the slip-knot trick for tying a bowline? Tie a slipknot and leave a long tail, wrap the tail around whatever you want to tie off to, then feed it though the loop of the slip knot. Slip the knot, and presto: instant bowline. You could easily tie a bowline one handed using this method while dragging through the water, might even be a bit easier than the taut-line hitch in that situation.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 15:31

No one ever seems to mention this but if you have enough rope pass the end of it through the loop a second time. When you pull down to tension, this second pass will tuck itself under the first pass and the friction will hold it in place. Then just tie your half hitch or whatever.

  • Here's a video explaining what (I think) you are describing. Looks really handy -- haven't used it yet. [Automatic Trucker's Hitch (Tension Locking)][1] [1]: youtu.be/oNsuvZOI-0U
    – joeA
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 13:43

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