At one yard I load them with a CAT backhoe that has an extendahoe on it. The extendahoe makes it easy. Without the extendahoe we'd have to drive the truck under the spreader. With the extendahoe, it can be done by one man (at least with our yard layout).
At the other yard I load them with our CAT excavator. Just as easy as the extendahoe, if not easier. In a jam last year, we used a Bobcat with forks and a chain, but that was in a pinch, and no where near as easy I was told.
Next yard will have A frames and chainfalls.
Another option for you pickup guys is the jackstands and roller mounted on the spreader. There are pics in the thread about the SIMA St Louis Symposium. Real easy, just back into the spreader, and fold up the front legs, back up some more, and fold up the rear legs. Do a search for that thread.
Thanks guys, the ideas are great. I just can't believe no one is out there selling something like the set up you saw this summer.
Tried the route of a shop crane / cherry picker from Harbor freight and it works good. A guy selling a used one let me try it out first. It's the same one they have new for $199 on the website (item # 7620) Has a more than enough reach and more than enough height to lift it up from 2001 Dodge 2500 bed and drive out from beneath it.
My days of the v box loading hassel is finally over. I bought a Genie 45' ariel man lift, with 12' extending boom, plus 6' jib boom.
Now I can be 25' away, and still be able to load and unload any freaking v box I want. Kind of like the extada hoe, but to a much higher degree.