Transportation Technologies, the parent company of Hackney & Sons and Kidron, has started voluntary bankruptcy actions under provisions of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, according to the Washington (NC) Daily News. H.I.G. Capital, owner of Transportation Technologies, views the bankruptcy filing as a means to position the company better financially. “The filing of our Chapter 11 marks the culmination of the company’s 12-month effort to restructure its finances,” said Frank Papa, chief executive officer of TTI, in a news release. “This step will give us the flexibility to reduce our debt and restructure our balance sheet. All operations will continue as usual without interruption during the proceedings. It is our intent to make this process ‘seamless’ to our customers. We fully expect to emerge from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more-competitive company than we are today.” Papa, in the press release, said the company expects the restructuring will have no impact on the company’s abilities to fulfill its obligations to its employees or to its worldwide customer base. “During the restructuring period and beyond,” Papa was quoted as saying, “we will continue to operate as one of the world’s leading specialty-truck manufacturers. We remain committed to providing the highest-quality products and services that our customers expect. “Our recent actions to improve operational performance prior to the filing have included changes to key management personnel, improvements to manufacturing efficiencies and a 25% reduction of overhead and fixed costs. The improvements to operations will continue until we have the most satisfied customers and the lowest cost base in the industry. “Management’s outlook on the future of TTI remains strong. The current owners of TTI also believe in our long-term prospects. While it is a difficult decision, it is the best course of action to take to preserve the future for all employees and to get this company financially back on track.” Hackney & Sons, which began in 1946, has its headquarters in Washington. The company is the world’s foremost manufacturer of aluminum bodies for beverage trucks and trailers. It has four plants, which are located in Washington; Lakeland, Fla.; Independence, Kan.; and Las Vegas. The Washington operation laid off 45 people in September 2000.