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  1. #1
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    trucker's hitch won't release

    Need advice on tying a modified trucker's hitch that will solve a problem I had last night. I was hanging from two very large trees, and had to use some braided cord as an extension to my tree straps (hooked the whoopie to the extension). The cord was some sort of braided cheapo cord from the hardware store, about an eighth of an inch in diameter. I tied a bowline at one and and larksheaded that to the sewn loop at one end of my tree strap, passed the loose end through the loop in my whoopie sling, then used a trucker's hitch to tie the loose end of the extension through the other loop in my tree strap. I tied a standard trucker's hitch and finished it with a slippery half hitch backed up with another slippery half hitch for safekeeping. By morning, the loop in the trucker's hitch that serves as the pulling loop as the knot tightens had closed down and clamped down on the line passing through it. I easily untied my slippery half hitches, but could not pull the loose line through the now-super-tight loop in the remainder of the trucker's hitch. HOw can I prevent this from happening again? I've never had this happen when using a trucker's hitch on tarps over trailers or on the bow and stern lines when I tie my kayak down to my car. Tips? Tricks?

  2. #2
    Senior Member shumway's Avatar
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    I don't think the trucker's hitch is the best choice for a load bearing application. I would tie the end of the extender cord to one end of the strap with a bowline as you did, then pass the line through the other loop and use either a marlinespike hitch or a bowline to attach the whoopie sling.

    If you want to use a trucker's hitch, one way to stop the slip knot from puling through would be to clip a carabiner in the loop. The end you pull for tension would go through the carabiner instead of the loop. There's an extra plus here in that you'll have less rope to rope friction and the rope will last longer. (I once put too much tension on a t-hitch and sawed right through the slip knot)
    Another way, though less desirable, is to replace the slip knot with a fixed loop such as an alpine butterfly.

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shumway View Post
    I don't think the trucker's hitch is the best choice for a load bearing application.
    Make sure you are tying it correctly and using it properly. The truckers hitch is called that because it was developed for truckers to use to tie their loads to the trailers. It holds extremely well under significant pressure and is quick and easy to tie and fast and reliable to release. However it must be tied properly.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Tendertoe's Avatar
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    My first thought would be, why the need for a truckers hitch? There is no need for a mechanical advantage to get your hammock suspension taut. All you're trying to do is set your angles and tight

    I'd ditch the truckers hitch altogether and just tie your 2 slippery half hitches behind your whoopie?

    My .02.

  5. #5
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    dummy me never thought of marlin spike

    I'm such a dummy. I use a marlin spike hitch with a trail stick on my normal setup. Why didn't I think of using that system for my suspension extender? I could have used a marlin spike hitch instead of the truckers hitch, and I could have also used it on the other end instead of the larksheaded bowline. Dummy me. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks for the idea. That'll be my future solution. I think the marlin spike over a big trail stick will also result in less reduction of the rope's breaking strength, too, since it doesn't create any tight pinch areas.

  6. #6
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    I don't trust slipery hitches

    To answer why I didn't just use a slippery hitch in place of the truckers hitch, it's because I've just never trusted slippery hitches. They just seem too low-tech and weak to me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member shumway's Avatar
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    I'll just add to what Ramblinrev said real quick. I should have said the truckers hitch isn't good for dynamic loads. It's awesome for static loads. Meaning if you use in in a place where things move around a lot, like a hammock suspension, you'll have problems like the one you experienced. When you entered the hammock the wrong end took the weight and pulled in the loop.

  8. #8
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shumway View Post
    I'll just add to what Ramblinrev said real quick. I should have said the truckers hitch isn't good for dynamic loads. It's awesome for static loads. Meaning if you use in in a place where things move around a lot, like a hammock suspension, you'll have problems like the one you experienced. When you entered the hammock the wrong end took the weight and pulled in the loop.
    Ahh... agreed on that one. However I don't like the bowline for dynamic loads either. They do break fairly easily if you have the slack and patience to do it. But I've had bowlines that just simply bind up to the point of having to use a marlin spike to break them. The marlin spike is an excellent knot for suspension use if you are going to use a knot based system. For ropes like amsteel and other high tech cordage consensus seems to be a spliced eye is the best foundation for loop and lots of folks seem to be favoring a toggle for use with whoopie slings.

    edit: for tying a loop in the working part of a line some people use an overhand on a bight. I find the loop slips and tightens the point of crimping. My preference is a figure eight on a bight. The figure eight will sieze and tighten but the loop does not reduce. You break it essentially the same way you break a tightened bowline.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 06-24-2011 at 12:23.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  9. #9
    Senior Member TadTheTinker's Avatar
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    If i have to make a truckers hitch, I always use a figure 8 on a bight. SSSOOO much easier to get out later no matter how tight I have to pull it.
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