Unfortunately in the world today, we have to lock our doors and be concerned about preventing theft. But, such is life. There are two products that exist to address this for contractors. It is surprising to me that both of them were created outside of Chicago. The first solution was created by American Lock Company, which has been purchased by Masterlock. Both use the hockey puck style locks, and there are distinct advantages and disadvantages. I will discuss both. First the original American Lock 800, this product can be used to secure swinging doors on a van. The Hockey puck lock is protected on all sides and is very secure. The second solution is the Slick Lock, this utilizes the locking mechanism on the door of the vehicle and works really well on new vehicles.
Since both systems utilize the hockey puck locks, I will discuss the other differences. The Slick Lock is great for new vehicles, you don’t have to drill any holes, and it works on sliding doors. This is really important, as the American lock doesn’t have a solution for sliders. The disadvantage of the slick lock is that on old vans they often won’t work, because the hinges are sagging or the doors are a bit out of alignment. Now, that being said the other necessity for the slick lock is the spinner, this is so someone can’t take a 48″ pipe wrench and grab the hockey puck lock twist it off.
So the advantage of the American lock 800 is that it is very secure and it can be installed on older vehicles as long as the doors close. The disadvantage is that you have to drill six holes in your vehicle. That equals rust in Wisconsin. We use stainless hardware when we install it, and caulk it, but sooner or later it will rust.
The other two necessities are the covers which keep snow, ice, salt, etc. out of the hockey puck lock itself. The Reda Guard, was also invented in Illinois, it works with the American Lock 800. Slick Lock has their own cover, because the Reda Guard doesn’t work with the spinners.