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Performance-Based Standards (PBS) offers an alternative regulatory system which allows heavy vehicle combinations to achieve higher productivity and safety through innovative and optimised vehicle designs.
PBS approved vehicles are designed to perform their tasks as productively, safely and sustainably as possible, and to operate on networks that are appropriate for their level of performance. The basic principle of PBS is matching the right vehicles to the right tasks.
The PBS/Smart Truck framework makes provision for vehicles to be assessed according to 16 minimum vehicle performance standards to ensure they are stable on the road and can turn and stop safely. Additionally, there are four infrastructure protection standards.

The following sections will be discussed:

  • Route assessment
  • Following distances
  • Axle/combination mass tolerances
  • Medical fitness tests :bi-annual
  • Driver screening
  • Driver Training : bi-annual
  • Content of driver training
  • Driver wellness monitoring : bi-annual
  • South African Society of Medicine (SASOM) – Guidelines for fitness to drive
  • Driver age & experience
  • PBS Permit (Section 81) Validation & Training
  • Permit conditions
  • Reporting requirements

The main goal is to emphasize the crucial importance of consistent compliance with the operational requirements of the Smart Truck Programme Rules, version 33 (July 2021).