Caterpillar padlocks all use the same key


Originally published at:

Thieves use bulldozers to steal $2.3 million from armored van on highway

That’s great - I keep losing the keys.


fwiw, all their heavy equipment (dozers, excavators, etc) are keyed alike as well. It’s actualky an industry std, so I guess that’s why the padlocks are too. Wonder if a lock key will start a dozer??

Thieves use bulldozers to steal $2.3 million from armored van on highway

For a long time, this was also true for HYSTER forklifts - all the same key


Years ago I worked in the offices of a very old factory. Single thickness steel framed windows, brick walls and no insulation led to crazy temperature swings.

The (eventually fired for cooking the books) boss-man instituted an austerity plan for HVAC and covered the thermostats with locking covers like this:

It wasn’t so much the cost savings, it was that the poor insulation made setting the thermostat to a fixed value unworkable. Before the covers were installed we would simply raise and lower the setting as needed to maintain comfort, often in a direction that would use less resources.

My solution was to buy another thermostat cover from the distributor we used. They too are/were all keyed alike. Temperature needed setting, close office door, remove cover, change setting, replace cover.


I love that Brent Spiner got his law degree and is now into lock picking.


Years ago I worked in an office that held the sole thermostat for an entire row of offices on one side of the building and the management installed that type of locking cover. My solution was to hang a bare light bulb below it and turn on the light when it was too hot and strap the ice pack from my lunch box to the top with a rubber band when it was too cold.


That lock seems awfully heavy duty for locking up insect larvae, you’d squish the poor caterpillar with it, for sure.


I wish I had known that.


hmmmm. how might I make use of this newly acquired information…

although, that may all be too much effort if it turns out next that all armored cars use the same keys…


And here I was, trying to get the little buggers to climb into the key hole…


those types of locks are very pickable. i struggle with 4 pin masterlock but those are easy, as are the kind on most office drawers :smiley:


Genius! I had a friend years ago who could never figure out why, despite the thermostat setting, it was always too cold in his apartment, in both winter and summer. Finally he noticed that he had placed a lamp directly beneath the thermostat on the wall.


All padlocks use the same key:



I feel that we’re judging the caterpillars too harshly considering their limited infrastructure, juvenile status, and the fact that it’s really hard to build keys with those tiny prolegs.


Key code = 12345.

By some amazing chance, that is also the security combination for my luggage…


The maintenance team at my current employer calls these

“The Master Key”.


Yeah, I’ve only ever picked masterlocks and this caterpillar one is so much easier. When I regularly picked a padlock as a hand fidget thing it still took me about a minute. These caterpillars aren’t useful beyond being a latch.


Probably explains how the excavators used in the Bari incident were obtained


there are typically many ways to defeat most regular priced padlocks.

i view them the same as standard home door locks, basic visual deterrence to casual unplanned theft of opportunity. but not much more.

a great party trick is making a bar shim from a soda can.