one version is 136-174mHz. the other is 440-490mHz...
preprogrammable radios. they are not like the typical HAM radio where you can manually select any frequency you want. they are usually used in commercial/emergency service vehicles.
attaining a Amateur (Ham) Radio license is not difficult if you dont mind studying. if there is a radio club near you, you can often hook up with them to learn what you need to... ours used to put classes on for the technitian class and general class as well.
ham radio operators do often monitor their radios while mobile or at home. i have a quad-band radio in my JK and an old 2m kenwood at the house that i finally hooked back up.
i have to say that my Ham radio saved our asses in June of 2003. we were just west of Topeka, KS on I-70 when the grey sky turned black. with my radio, a repeater book, laptop with streets 98 and the help of another Ham who was at home and was able to pull up live weather in Topeka, we avoided a very severe storm moving northeast across the interstate. we diverted to a little town called Eskridge. while there waiting on the bad stuff to blow over, we heard the truckers on my CB going crazy. the wind blew at least one truck over.
i've talked to locals and gotten directions.. and even restraunt suggestions.
the problem with a radio like you have here, is that unless you can program on the fly, or preprogram the radio with specific frequencies, then you're limited. they'd be good for an improvised repeater or local traffic, though.