The 2017 F-250 on the left and 2016 F-650 on the right actually share a lot of "commonality," including seating geometry and cab interior design. In the words of Ford's Kevin Koester, that sharing or truck "architecture" not only provides some cost savings but also makes drivers, especially new ones, more comfortable and less-intimidated when operating the bigger medium-duty units.
Koester, seen here, noted that equipping the 2016 F-650 with a 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine can shave between $8,000 to $10,000 off of its sticker price when compared to a similarly-equipped diesel truck.
Ford's John Rieger noted that the OEM follows a "launch rich" protocol when introducing new trucks. Thus when it rolled out the all-aluminum body 2017 Super Duty, the plusher trim lines - such as the Platnium seen here, with all the bells and whistles - were the first models introduced.
The day's test drive started with the 2016 F-650 making a run from Dearborn MI up near Ann Arbor to pick up a 5-yard load of top soil, to be delivered to a nearby home; a trip involving highway driving as well as travel over dirt and gravel rural roads.
Getting loaded up with dirt.
Delivery proved a cinch. With the motor running and the parking brake on, it took about 5 minutes to unload the topsoil and then re-secure the dump body for travel.
Switching to the 2017 F-250 meant an upgrade to some serious luxury that included massaging seats and onboard navigation. We parked here to make a quick visit to Nankin Mills along Hines Road; a grist mill originally built back in 1835. Henry Ford bought this mill in 1918.
Further down the road we encountered the Nankin Mills one-room schoolhouse, which operated from 1937 until 1944. This was considered a "rural" schoolhouse, but now is being relocated due to all the urbanization around it.
Funnily enough, a passerby or two stopped by the schoolhouse site to wonder if we, in our F-250, equipped with a 6.7-liter Powerstroke V8 diesel engine, were there to move the school to its new location! Alas no we were not.