Francisco Algaba is a native of El Viso del Alcor, where he lives happily with his wife, Manoli, his two children, Pilar and Francisco José, who are already immersed in the world of work, and his grandson Manuel. This place is his refuge for reflection and to gather the energy he pours into the Surtruck workshop so that the business group does not stop growing and innovating.
His head is always on the lookout for ways to optimise the performance of the vehicles he manufactures, because he is always looking for improvements in everything. More than forty years of professionalism among engines have made him see the best way to improve: success-error. For those whose greatest virtue is constancy, there are no secrets. Because everything can be overcome with time and hard work.
– What were your professional beginnings like?
– I’ve just turned 60 and I was 18, having just finished my military service. I’ve been making fire engines for 41 years…
– Where did you start?
– At the age of 19 in Abengoa (Abencor) with twenty employees under my responsibility, installing fire fighting vehicles. Then I set up my own company and I collaborated and subcontracted work to Iturri, which became number one in fire-fighting vehicle sales in Spain.
Albatros was created and we did not stop manufacturing with the requirement to keep innovating day by day. We managed to make the company number one worldwide in solar thermal cleaning vehicles.
– And Surtruck was founded…
– Yes, in 2015 this company was created and I started with them. It was a very exciting challenge from the very beginning because we wanted to innovate in the sector. To manufacture narrower vehicles, we saw that it was a demand in the sector and we started the tests with the power take-off, the transmission, adjusting it to the chassis… the first two narrow vehicles, the BUL, left our workshop that year, 2015.
– And from there to cleaning…
– Yes, the first cleaning tank was for Ceuta in that year too, 2015. We also started to manufacture prototypes of solar cleaning vehicles. But our commitment was directed towards sustainability. This is how Eco-Cleaning and vehicles that consume less and less were born.
– How did you get into the production of such vehicles?
– I realised more than 14 years ago that the motor world was going to change because the internal combustion engine had to go down. Since electric cars were on the way, and I am passionate about electricity, I started researching and testing… and I haven’t stopped doing so. I am also researching with hybrid equipment, diesel power, smart chargers…
But the most important thing to achieve all these results is to have a first-class technical and human team. And I have been very lucky in this respect because my staff is always improving and working to do things better and better, with enthusiasm as the driving force.
– How do you achieve continuous improvement?
– When you are not satisfied. You want to try to do something better, to achieve better performance… you always look for one more step. Sometimes you find it easily, and other times you have to do a lot of tests until you see the way. Besides, at Surtruck we are like the Japanese, very stubborn and demanding. Not just me, the manager, my staff, the area managers… every day is a challenge and we all strive to improve ourselves so that the company grows even more. Excellence is our goal.
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