In this paper, we consider the single machine scheduling problem with linear earliness and quadratic tardiness costs, and no machine idle time. We present heuristic algorithms based on the beam search technique. These algorithms include classic beam search procedures, as well as the filtered and recovering variants. Several dispatching rules are considered as evaluation functions, in order to analyse the effect of different rules on the effectiveness of the beam search algorithms. The computational results show that using better rules indeed improves the performance of the beam search heuristics. The detailed, filtered and recovering beam search procedures outperform the best existing heuristic. The best results are given by the recovering and detailed variants, which provide objective function values that are quite close to the optimum. For small to medium size instances, either of these procedures can be used. For larger instances, however, the detailed beam search algorithm requires excessive computation times, and the recovering beam search procedure then becomes the heuristic of choice.