Need a Knot To Secure a Load? Try My Modified Trucker’s Hitch.

I came up with this easy knot over years of tying down equipment and materials in the bed of my pickup.

modified trucker's hitch knot step 12
Trevor Raab

My favorite means of securing a load in a truck or trailer is to fashion rope into what I call a modified trucker’s hitch. I qualify it with “modified” because it uses principles of the time-tested trucker’s hitch but isn’t exactly the same version that you see published all over the web and in books about sailing and knot-making.

I’ve used this home-brewed version for years. It’s fast, easy, quick to untie, and so simple that I’ve made it by feel in the dark. What’s more, it’s so versatile that I’ve used it hundreds of times to secure everything in the bed of my truck from a pile of groceries to lawn mowers to an unwieldy pile of boxes. And it’s very strong; I’ve never had a load come loose.

The quirky thing about it is a second loop that I put in the rope–I call it a follower loop (or, simply, “the follower”). That’s because when you stick your index finger through the follower and pull, it follows your finger as the loop’s length increases. To decrease the follower’s length, simply pull on the free end of the rope. The ability to adjust the follower’s length allows you to place this loop at an ideal location so that you have full access to it. This is important in knot-making. When you pass the rope’s free end through a loop (like the follower), you’re forming a crude pulley system that increases tightening power. However, the loop should be in a spot where you can take full mechanical advantage of it.

Here’s how to rig it.

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