Here at the radio repair center we get many questions about range (distance). Typically a handheld business radio will do 2 miles line-of-sight or as far as the radio can see. Several factors interfere with range, including but not limited to: curvature of the Earth, obstacles, height and placement of antenna, position of the radio, and using the correct antenna for the radio.
1) Holding the radio upright with the antenna straight up gives you the best range. Tilting to the side, as if talking on the phone, will reduce the range by up to 2/3s. This will cause transmissions to drop out, or be very staticy. Just remember: Perpendicular to the ground is best!
2) The body fluid of the person wearing the radio can absorb part of the range. If you’re a little bit round in the middle, your radio will not work as well as your pencil thin co-worker. You can compensate by wearing the radio higher your body. Maybe in a shirt pocket or with a chest pouch. (Height and placement of antenna determines range.)
3) Use a good quality fully charged battery. It takes more energy to transmit than to receive. Using a good battery will do wonders to clear up static, making your transmissions clear.
4) Use the appropriate antenna for your radio. While stubby (short) antennas may be available for your radio model, keep in mind these will significantly reduce range. If you are working in a close proximity, they may work wonderfully. However, if you are expecting to transmit a long distance, go back to the original standard length antenna.
5) Check your antenna for damage. If you can bend the antenna and see the coils or if the top cap is gone, it is time to replace the antenna. This may do wonders for your range.
Hope these tips help. Have a safe and wonderful Summer.